California Governor signs bill on offshore oil spill protection
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill on October 8 that will expand funding for spill protection programs that are meant to protect the state's coastlines from being damaged by oil spills.
The new bill, which is titled AB1112, provides the Office of Spill Prevention and Response with the ability to increase fees that will be used to fund a spill prevention fund and also boost inspections of vessel-to-vessel petroleum transfers that are considered high risk.
Assemblyman Jared Huffman, who introduced the bill, has stated that the funds used for the prevention program will incur a $5.2 million shortfall in 2012 and more revenue is needed for the agency to fulfill its responsibilities. A five cent fee charged for every barrel delivered to the state provides the bulk of the current funding.
State officials have stated that this fee has only been raised one cent during the last 20 years. The approved bill provides the state agency with the ability to raise the fee to close to seven cents through 2015, The Associated Press reports.
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