RELEASE: Bill to Cut Unnecessary Green Tape Becomes Law

AB 72 Will Protect California Coast from Sea-Level Rise

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO — Legislation to cut unnecessary green tape and increase sea-level rise mitigation initiatives along the California coast has been signed into law by the Governor. Authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, AB 72 will establish a coordinated and efficient process for coastal adaptation permitting. 

“The valuable time, expertise and resources of scientists working to combat sea-level rise should be spent on solutions, not bureaucracy,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “We are in a race against climate change and we cannot waste time trying to navigate unnecessary green tape.”

California boasts over 1,100 miles of breathtaking coast that nearly 70% of Californians call home. Over the course of this century, sea levels are expected to rise by 7 feet, putting millions of people and billions of dollars at risk. Scientists have determined that coastal adaptation initiatives are one of the most promising strategies to combat sea-level rise.

When applying for a coastal adaptation project, applicants must often submit dozens of permits to varying state agencies. Each agency then undertakes its own independent review on its own timeline with its own requirements. This current protracted and uncoordinated review process causes unnecessary delays for valuable coastal adaptation projects and hinders innovative approaches to addressing sea-level rise.

AB 72 will direct the California Natural Resources Agency to evaluate and implement a more coordinated and efficient regulatory review process for coastal adaptation projects, and report to the Legislature on suggestions for improvement by July 1, 2023.

This bill is supported by the California Environmental Justice League, East Bay Park District, Surfrider Foundation, AZUL and the California Coastkeeper Alliance.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

“AB 72 offers hope for local governments, frontline communities and all those who care about a healthy California coast,” said Mandy Sackett, California Policy Coordinator, Surfrider Foundation. “We're so excited to see crucial adaptation projects move forward swiftly while we still have this narrow window of opportunity to save our beaches and coast from sea level rise and coastal hazards related to the climate crisis.”
 
"We believe this bill sets an important policy precedent by elevating the issue of sea level rise in the context of the Natural Resources Agency’s oversight functions over coastal adaptation projects,” said Tim Cromartie, Executive Director, Environmental Justice League. “Sea level rise is a significant factor in climate change and should be a factor in the Agency’s execution of its duties. "
 
"A more coordinated permitting process for coastal adaptation projects would enable the Park District and other agencies throughout the state to develop innovative, nature-based flood control projects for marsh and wetland habitats,” said Sabrina Landreth, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District. “Advancing nature-based projects which adapt to sea level rise and climate change should be a priority for all of California’s coastal areas.  We are pleased to see Assembly Member Petrie-Norris’s legislation, AB 72, moving forward to accelerate this important work.”