The Commission held its August meeting virtually. The staff reports and comment letters associated with our meeting are available in our Archives. The Executive Officer’s report with updates and links to supplementary materials for a wide array of activities and projects is also available. Of particular note are updates about significant oil and gas decommissioning projects in the Santa Barbara Channel and the status of efforts to create a Hollister Ranch public access program. The Executive Officer also reported that the well plug and abandonment work at Platform Holly in Santa Barbara County, which has been in abeyance this past year and a half because of the pandemic, is anticipated to resume in the next few weeks.
Staff updated the Commission about natural resources and public land management-related legislation involving offshore wind energy, plastic pollution, climate change, and sea-level rise preparedness, among other things. Staff also updated the Commission on legislation the Commission is sponsoring and supporting, including AB 1390 (Boerner-Horvath) and SB 796 (Bradford).
City of Avalon
The Commission issued a lease to the City of Avalon to stabilize up to 23 sea-cave voids with quarry rock and concrete. Repairing the sea-cave voids will allow continued safe operation and use of a coastal public road, coastal trail, and infrastructure for residents and visitors.
Marine Invasive Species Prevention
The Commission re-approved regulations relative to its Marine Invasive Species Program. At its public meeting on April 27, 2021, the Commission adopted proposed amendments to Article 4.7 and directed staff to finalize the amendments. Subsequently, staff received feedback from the Office of Administrative Law for improvements to the proposed amendments. To further improve Article 4.7 and strengthen the rulemaking file, the Commission adopted modifications to the proposed regulations. The regulations delay the implementation dates for California’s ballast water discharge performance standards and incorporate federal ballast water discharge standards and an implementation schedule into California’s regulations. The regulations also establish requirements for vessel owners and operators to monitor the functionality of ballast water treatment systems and establish conditions to collect ballast water and sediment samples for research purposes and compliance assessment. The regulated community for this program are owners and operators of vessels 300 gross tons or greater that are capable of carrying ballast water.
The Commission authorized staff to contract to remove derelict or abandoned remnants of the Nantucket restaurant and marina facilities along the Crockett waterfront in order to protect public health and safety. When complete, the work will result in the Crockett shoreline being free of marine debris and returned to its most natural condition in decades. The work will facilitate public access over the long term and will not preclude a future applicant from leasing the site. The Commissioners express their commitment to continued collaboration with the community as the work unfolds.
Future Meetings and Ways to Stay Informed
The Commission’s next public meeting will be on October 21, 2021. You can sign up here to receive updates about this and future meetings. Another great way to stay informed is by following the State Lands Commission on Twitter.