The Barbed Wire - November 11, 2016

November 10, 2016
NHF Helps Fund Housing Project for Local Homeless Veterans and Families
$4 Million Available to Address Tree Mortality on Private Forestlands
Congress Seeks Court Action to Vacate WOTUS Rule
CMSP Mini Grants Program
Down-Sizing Habitable Rooms and Dwelling Units
RCRC Advocates for Jail Construction Funding Program

NHF Helps Fund Housing Project for Local Homeless Veterans and Families

Sacramento, CA, November 11, 2016 – National Homebuyers Fund, Inc. (NHF) joined a vast array of public and private contributors to celebrate the ramp up of a joint veterans housing renovation project in Sacramento County earlier today.  The event, held on Veterans Day, brought project partners and community leaders together to tour the 11 two-bedroom units on Dealynn Street in Sacramento.  Read More…

$4 Million Available to Address Tree Mortality on Private Forestlands

This week, the California USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of $4 million in funding, through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), for tree mortality projects on private forestlands.  Landowners on non-industrial private forestlands in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare and Tuolumne counties are eligible to apply for financial assistance.  

Applicants who have more than 20 percent of their forestland property covered with dead trees will receive priority funding consideration.  Applicants will be required to develop a Forest Management Plan for their property. 

Detailed information on the Forest Tree Mortality EQIP program and eligibility requirements can be accessed here.  

Congress Seeks Court Action to Vacate WOTUS Rule

On Tuesday, members of the U.S. House and Senate filed an amicus brief asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the Administration’s final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which was jointly issued by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last year.  The brief was filed in support of thirty-one states and twelve municipal and industry petitioners with a pending case against the rule, and was signed by sixty-seven Members of Congress and twenty-one Senators.  

The WOTUS rule has been controversial since its initial proposal, with many stakeholders, including RCRC, opposing it as a jurisdictional overreach and inappropriate expansion of federal authority over bodies of water not previously controlled by the federal government.  The rulemaking process itself was also derided as insufficient for receiving meaningful input from state and local governments, and even unlawful as the Government Accountability Office ruled EPA’s social media campaign seeking public support for the rule to be “covert propaganda.”  A number of lawsuits were filed once the rule was finalized, and attempts have also been made to block implementation through the federal budget process.  Implementation of the rule is currently enjoined until the Court reaches a final decision on the lawsuit.

The brief filed by Congress can be accessed here.

CMSP Mini Grants Program

The County Medical Services Program (CMSP) Governing Board has released its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the CMSP Mini Grants Program.  Under the CMSP Mini Grants Program, applicants may seek one-time funding of up to $20,000 for development of health systems serving CMSP and potential CMSP members.  Efforts funded by Mini Grants may support county-specific or multi county efforts focused on expanding access to primary care, specialty care, and/or behavioral health services, coordination and integration of health systems, and the improvement of healthcare delivery systems.  

Applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 12, 2016 and received by the CMSP Governing Office no later than Friday, December 16, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. PST

Applicants must be either a county or a not-for-profit organization.  Detailed information on the program and how to apply can be accessed here

Down-Sizing Habitable Rooms and Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Unit's (ADUs) are attached or detached residential units that are considered an “accessory structure” to a residential unit, and are not counted towards density limitations on a parcel.  The intent is to provide affordable housing options for in-laws, live-in caretakers, or rental units.  These homes are generally small, and represent an opportunity for addressing the growing housing needs across California.  Currently, an ADU can be as small as the 120 square feet requirement of an “efficiency dwelling unit.”  However, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is changing building code requirements to allow for smaller dwelling units and ADUs.  

The 2015 International Building Code (IBC) changes were adopted into the 2016 California Residential Code (CRC), which will take effect on January 1, 2017.  The 2016 CRC will allow for habitable rooms smaller than the 120 square feet requirement of the “efficiency dwelling units.”  The new requirement for a habitable room is a floor area of not less than 70 square feet.  HCD plans to repeal the definition of the “efficiency dwelling unit” and change the dwelling unit requirement for minimum floor area during the 2016 Intervening Code Adoption Cycle with an effective date of July 1, 2018, but does not expect local governing bodies or code enforcement agencies to enforce the provisions of CRC Section R304.5 or CBC Section 1208.4 on single-family homes or “tiny homes” built on a foundation pursuant to the CRC after January 1, 2017.       

Detailed information can be accessed in the Information Bulletin


DWR to Hold Series of Meetings on Groundwater Best Management Practices

Click here

UAG and AAG Meeting and EO Public Draft Report Workshop

Click here

USDA Seeks Applications for $25 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants

Click here

Department of Conservation Pre-Rulemaking for the Surface Mine Inspection Guidance Document and Regulation – RCRC Hosts Public Workshop

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1142 (Gray, 2016), the Department of Conservation (DOC) will be developing a surface mine inspection guidance document.  The DOC has scheduled three public workshops as part of an informal, pre-rulemaking process to obtain input from stakeholders.

Workshop dates and locations:

November 22, 2016 – 8:30 AM - Noon

Rural County Representatives of California

1215 K Street, Suite 1650

Sacramento, CA 95814


November 30, 2016 – 8:30 AM - Noon

Orange County Public Works  

300 N. Flower Street

Santa Ana, CA 92703


December 6, 2016 – 8:30 AM - Noon

City of Redding Development Services Dept. Planning Division

Civic Center Campus Community Room

777 Cypress Avenue

Redding, CA 96001

The Pre-Rulemaking Discussion comments are due to DOC by December 9, 2016.  Detailed information can be accessed here.


California Carpet Stewardship Plan 2017-2021.  The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has submitted a new Carpet Stewardship Plan (Plan) for approval.  The purpose of the Plan is to increase the amount of postconsumer carpet diverted from landfills through recycling into secondary products.  Agency: CalRecycle Status: Report posted October 18, 2016, with public comments due November 14, 2016.  This new Plan will be considered at the December 20, 2016 CalRecycle public meeting.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  The Plan can be accessed hereRCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

Discussion Draft of Significant Effects and Hazards in the CEQA Guidelines.  The proposed revisions specifically address the requirement to analyze hazards that a project may risk exacerbating and are in response to the California Supreme Court’s decision in California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (2015) 62 Cal. 4th 369.  Agency: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) Status: Draft language released October 21, 2016, with comments due by November 21, 2016.  A copy of the draft can be accessed hereRCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

Working Draft 2017 CVFPP Update.  The Working Draft 2017 Central Valley Flood Protection Plan (CVFPP) Update has been released for initial public review.  First adopted in 2012, the CVFPP guides the State’s participation in the managing flood risk in areas protected by the State Plan of Flood Control.  The Update will further refine the State Systemwide Investment Approach (SSIA) to support flood risk management actions locally, regionally, and systemwide.  Agency: Department of Water Resources (DWR) Status: The Working Draft was released on October 28, 2016 with public comments due November 28, 2016.  The Working Draft 2017 CVFPP Update can be accessed here.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

Proposed Pesticide Use Near School Sites Regulation.  While current regulatory requirements for pesticide applications near schools vary from county to county, the proposed regulation will provide minimum statewide standards for all agricultural pesticide applications near public K-12 schools and child day care facilities.  The proposed regulation will require growers to notify public K-12 schools, child day care facilities, and County Agricultural Commissioners when certain pesticide applications made for the production of an agricultural commodity near a school site are planned in the coming year, and again a few days prior to the applications.  In addition, certain pesticide applications near these school sites will be prohibited at certain times.  Agency: Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Status: Proposed regulations were released in September 2016, with public comments now due December 9, 2016.  There are three public hearings scheduled for November 15, 16, and December 9, 2016 in Oxnard, Tulare, and Salinas, respectively.  The public notice with public hearing time and location details and the draft regulations can be accessed hereRCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

General Plan Safety Element Review and Assessment.  The proposed rule establishes a standardized review process for the Board of Forestry review of a draft element or a draft amendment to the safety element of a county or a city’s general plan that contains State Responsibility Area (SRA) or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.  Agency: Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) Status: The proposed rule was published October 28, 2016, with comments due by December 13, 2016.  The Board anticipates holding a public hearing on January 24, 2017.  The proposed rule can be accessed here.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

California Paint Stewardship Program 2016 Annual Report.  PaintCare has submitted their California Paint Stewardship Program 2016 Annual Report (Report) to CalRecycle.  Agency: CalRecycle Status: Report posted November 3, 2016, with public comments regarding the performance of the paint stewardship program due December 19, 2016.  CalRecycle will make a subsequent determination regarding compliance within 90 days.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  The Report can be accessed here.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands.  The proposed rule implements the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS) update for a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) assisted or financed project involving new construction or a substantial improvement that is situated in an area subject to floods.  Agency: US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Status: The proposed rule was published October 28, 2016, with comments due by December 27, 2016.  The proposed rule can be accessed here.  RCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

Amendments to the Portable Engine ATCM and the PERP.  Revisions to the Portable Engine Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) and the Statewide Portable Equipment Registration Program Regulation (PERO) are being proposed.  The current ATCM requires subject fleets of engines to meet a series of fleet average emission standards for diesel particulate matter (DPM).  The ATCM fleet standards became effective in 2013 and become more stringent in 2017 and 2020.  Compliance with the future fleet requirements are projected to be very difficult.  The proposed amendments include alternatives to the current fleet averages to protect public health while considering economic impacts to regulated fleets.  Agency: Air Resources Board (ARB) Status: Draft regulations are dated September 9, 2016.  These proposed regulations are anticipated to be released in early 2017, and considered at the March 2017 ARB public meeting.  The public workshop notice and draft regulations can be accessed hereRCRC Comments: Staff is seeking input from member counties.  RCRC Advocate: Mary Pitto

RCRC Advocates for Jail Construction Funding Program

This week, RCRC urged the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to support the Senate Bill 844 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Executive Steering Committee’s (ESC) recommendations for local jail construction funding, which was included as part of the final 2016-17 State Budget Package to address local detention and programming capacity needs.  As with prior jail construction funding programs, the SB 844 ESC was charged with developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide recommendations for program development, selection criteria, and application requirements. 

The SB 844 ESC continued to support key components of previous jail construction programs, including dedicated funding for small counties and the opportunity to request a reduced match requirement.  Additionally, the SB 844 RFP contains $150 million for small counties, $30 million for medium-sized counties, and $70 million for large-sized counties, and monies will be targeted to counties that have received either no previous funding or partial funding to support their local detention facility needs.  The BSCC is anticipated to adopt the SB 844 RFP at their meeting next week.