(a) For purposes of this chapter, “wildlife rehabilitation” means those actions that are necessary to fully mitigate for the damage from a spill caused to wildlife, fisheries, wildlife habitat, and fisheries habitat. (b) Responsible parties shall fully mitigate adverse impacts to wildlife, fisheries, wildlife habitat, and fisheries habitat. Full mitigation shall be provided by successfully carrying out environmental projects or funding restoration activities required by the administrator in carrying out projects complying with the requirements of this section. Responsible parties are also liable for the costs incurred by the administrator or other government agencies in carrying out this section. (c) If any significant wildlife rehabilitation is necessary, the administrator may require the responsible party to prepare and submit to the administrator, and to implement, a wildlife rehabilitation plan. The plan shall describe the actions that will be implemented to fully meet the requirements of subdivision (b), describe contingency measures that will be carried out in the event that any of the plan actions are not fully successful, provide a reasonable implementation schedule, describe the monitoring and compliance program, and provide a financing plan. The administrator shall review and determine whether to approve the plan within 60 days of submittal. Before approving a plan, the administrator shall first find that the implementation of the plan will fully mitigate the adverse impacts to wildlife, fisheries, wildlife habitat, and fisheries habitat. If the habitat contains beaches that are or were used for recreational purposes, the Department of Parks and Recreation shall review the plan and provide comments to the administrator. (d) The plan shall place first priority on avoiding and minimizing any adverse impacts. For impacts that do occur, the plan shall provide for full onsite restoration of the damaged resource to the extent feasible. To the extent that full onsite restoration is not feasible, the plan shall provide for offsite in-kind mitigation to the extent feasible. To the extent that adverse impacts still have not been fully mitigated, the plan shall provide for the enhancement of other similar resources to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of subdivision (b). In evaluating whether a wildlife rehabilitation plan is adequate, the administrator may use the habitat evaluation methods or procedures established by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service or any other reasonable methods as determined by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. (e) The administrator shall prepare regulations to implement this section. The regulations shall include deadlines for the submittal of plans. In establishing the deadlines, the administrator shall consider circumstances such as the size of the spill and the time needed to assess damage and mitigation.
Citation: al. Gov't Code § 8670.61.5 (West)