New law increases funding for removal of abandoned oil facilities in Long Beach Tidelands
(SACRAMENTO) – A.B. 353, authored by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D–Long Beach), has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This legislation will protect Long Beach and its Tidelands by setting aside money to cover the eventual costs of transitioning Long Beach oil operations without damaging the environment.
“I want to thank the Governor for signing my last bill as an Assemblymember that will protect our environment for years to come. Our Long Beach community and environment must be protected when it comes time to safely close down the Tideland oil wells,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell. “A.B. 353 will ensure that Long Beach and its residents are not be left holding the bag to pay for the cleanup costs.”
When oil operations end, the Oil Trust Fund is the primary funding source to cover costs associated with the cleanup of oil wells within the Long Beach Tidelands. However, the fund is capped at $300 million, an amount the fund has been stuck at for 8 years, while the estimated cost of ending oil operations has increased. Currently, the cleanup is estimated to cost $1.2 billion, approximately $900 million over what can be saved under current law. AB 353 eliminates the cap on the fund so saving for these future costs can resume.
“I appreciate the strong support for A.B. 353 shown by the City of Long Beach and the California State Lands Commission. These partners helped make it possible for this important legislation to become law,” said O’Donnell.
The text of A.B. 353 can be found here.
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) chairs the Assembly Education Committee and the Assembly Select Committees on Ports and Goods Movement. He represents District 70 which includes the communities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.