Assemblymember Janet Nguyen Announces Bill Package to Address and Prevent Future Oil Spills

 

SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Janet Nguyen announced her legislative bill package today on solutions to address and prevent future oil spills off the shorelines of California. On October 2, 2021, approximately 25,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled into the waters of Huntington Beach and surrounding cities, affecting the community and businesses within our district and all beach cities in Orange County .

“Since I found out about the oil spill, I have been first on the scene and working to find solutions, as this is my top priority,” said Assemblymember Janet Nguyen. “I have been on tours of the oil spill scene, had multiple meetings with Unified Command, the Coast Guard, the Department of Fish & Wildlife, I was recently appointed to the California State Assembly Orange County Oil Spill Select Committee and am now working on legislative solutions. I am working hard to ensure a spill like this does not happen again.”

Assemblymember Janet Nguyen is introducing four legislative bills to address this issue. The proposals are as follows:

  • Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 24 regarding the location of command centers: This resolution requests the United States Federal Government to locate unified command centers closer to the emergency to which they are responding in order to increase the quality and efficiency of the emergency response.  The initial command center during the crisis was based miles away in Los Angeles instead of Orange County and far away from the oil spilled most impacted areas in Huntington Beach and the Bolsa Chica State Beach. 
  • Assembly Bill (AB) 1658 on oil spill response best practices: This bill would require the Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response within the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to create and post on its internet website best practices for local jurisdictions who would like to adopt a local oil spill response plan. It was discovered that local cities and jurisdiction either doesn’t have an oil spill response plan or they are drastically different with each other which makes it very difficult to coordinate among the different agencies and departments.
  • AJR 25 regarding regulating vessel anchorages: This resolution requests the United States Federal Government to immediately take action to increase resources for the enforcement of regulating vessel anchorages to both regulate the backlog of cargo ships and prevent future oil spills related to anchor strikes.
  • AB 1657 regarding immediate notification of oil spills: This bill expand the existing notification requirements for responsible parties to include notifying the Office of Emergency Services of an oil spill immediately that affects not only the waters of the United States but also the waters of the State of California.

 “I feel these proposals are a good solution to make our waters and beaches safer from potential oil spill threats in the future.” said Assemblymember Janet Nguyen. “It’s a priority for me to protect our beautiful shorelines.” 

Assemblymember Janet Nguyen has been heavily involved with the oil spill since day one when it occurred in October. She sent a letter asking Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a State of Emergency in order to streamline state and federal funding to resolve the oil spill. Governor Newsom responded and announced the State of Emergency the next day. She now sits on the Select Committee on the Orange County Oil Spill and is working with her colleagues to find solutions. She partnered with the Lestonnac Clinic in Orange and other community non-profits to donate and personally deliver 900 KN95 masks and 500 elastomeric masks to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. She also partnered with Senator Pat Bates to send a letter requesting a federal investigation to the United States Office of Pipeline Safety and multiple state agencies.

The office will continue to keep you updated on these bills as they make their way through the California State Legislature.

 

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