Governor Brown Issues Executive Order to Further Expedite Oil Spill Recovery Efforts in Santa Barbara County
SACRAMENTO - As federal, state, and local agencies continue working to minimize and mitigate the effects of last month's Santa Barbara County oil spill, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an executive order to further expedite recovery efforts and help ensure the natural environment is restored, beaches are reopened and economic impacts are minimized.
The Governor's order directs state agencies responsible for cleanup and restoration to take all necessary steps to issue emergency waivers and permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach, and waives the waiting period for unemployment insurance for those workers affected by the oil spill.
The Governor also directs the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response to continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for environmental and fiscal damages.
The Governor's May 20, 2015 proclamation along with today's executive order advance a combined effort across federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, local volunteers, conservation and environmental organizations, and citizens to deal with the effects of this substantial spill along an iconic stretch of California's remarkable coastline.
(Copy of executive order text below)
EXECUTIVE ORDER B-31-15
WHEREAS on May 20, 2015, I proclaimed a state of emergency to exist as a result of a pipeline rupture causing a significant release of oil and potentially other hazardous substances into the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Beach located in Santa Barbara County; and
WHEREAS numerous state agencies and departments have been deployed to the impacted areas to respond to and mitigate the damage of the oil spill; and
WHEREAS those agencies and departments, joined by federal and local agencies and local volunteers, have worked tirelessly to contain the spill and to minimize and
mitigate its effects on the environment, fisheries, wildlife, and the local economy; and
WHEREAS notwithstanding the best efforts of the state, federal, and local agencies and many volunteers, the oil spill has had a tremendous impact on the environment, resulting in the loss of marine mammals, birds, and fish that will continue long into the future; and
WHEREAS Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach have been closed due to the unsafe conditions created by the spill; and
WHEREAS fisheries are closed resulting in 138 square miles of ocean being closed to commercial fishing causing significant damage to this industry; and
WHEREAS local governments and businesses along the Santa Barbara County Coast will continue to suffer economic impacts from this oil spill; and
WHEREAS emergency operations are now focused on restoring the impacted areas, but expedited efforts are still needed to restore the environment, reopen the beaches, and minimize economic impacts; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property continue to exist due to the oil spill in the County of Santa Barbara; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the California Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the statutes specified in this order would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the oil spill.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, and in particular, sections 8567 and 8571 of the California Government Code, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
The provisions of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation declaring a State of Emergency remain in full force and effect, except as modified herein.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response shall continue working with other federal, state, and local agencies to take appropriate actions to clean up and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the cleanup and mitigation of the environmental and fiscal impacts of the oil spill.
The provisions of section 1253 of the Unemployment Insurance Code imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants are waived as to all applicants who are unemployed as a direct result of the oil spill, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning May 20, 2015 and ending on the close of business on November 20, 2015, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in California.
Because emergency efforts are now focused on restoration, paragraph 5 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending chapter 7 of division 20 of the Public Resources Code, is hereby revoked. Subject to the primary authority of the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Office of Spill Prevention and Response administrator for oil spill response under the Lempert-Keene-Seastrand Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act, and specifically sections 8670.5 and 8670.7 of the Government Code, all agencies, including the Coastal Commission pursuant to its authority under section 30600(e) of the Public Resources Code, with notice to and coordination with the administrator, shall take all necessary steps to issue on an emergency basis any necessary waivers or permits to facilitate the reopening of fishing, public access, and impacted beaches and waters, including Refugio State Beach and El Capitan State Beach.
Paragraph 8 of the May 20, 2015 Proclamation, suspending Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Rule 326, is hereby revoked as it is no longer necessary for restoration efforts.
This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any rights or benefits, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity, against the State of California, its agencies, departments, entities, officers, employees, or any other person.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this fifth day of June 2015.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California
Secretary of State
Cal OES is responsible for the coordination of overall state agency response to major disasters in support of local government. The agency is responsible for assuring the state's readiness to respond to and recover from all hazards - natural, man-made, war-caused emergencies and disasters - and for assisting local governments in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation efforts.
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