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Item #15 Reviewed By: DH ___ X CM ___ X CA ___

CITY OF DANA POINT AGENDA REPORT

DATE: TO: FROM: SUBJECT:

JUNE 18, 2013 CITY MANAGER/CITY COUNCIL URSULA LUNA-REYNOSA, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CITY OF DANA POINT RESPONSE TO PROPOSED SOUTH COAST AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT (SCAQMD) ACTIONS IMPACTING THE NUMBER AND LOCATION OF FIRE RINGS AT BEACHES WITHIN THE CITY

RECOMMENDED ACTION: That the City Council authorize the Mayor to send a letter to the Board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) urging it to honor the rule of local control and allow each agency the ability to regulate placement and control of fire rings within its jurisdiction. ISSUE: Possible amendment of SCAQMD Rule No. 444 (Open Burning), and its corresponding impact on fire rings located at beaches within the City of Dana Point. BACKGROUND: At an upcoming July 12, 2013 meeting, the SCAQMD Board will discuss the following proposed amendments to its Rule No. 444. If adopted, these changes would have a profound impact on the number and location of fire rings at Dana Point area beaches, as well as throughout the State of California. Specifically the proposed amendments would: ► Create a new definition for “Beach Burning” that will read as follows: Any recreational, ceremonial or open burning conducted in any public coastal area marked by an accumulation of sand. For the purposes of this rule, beach burning does not include the use of charcoal or gaseous or liquid fuel. ► Beginning January 1, 2014, make beach burning subject to potential “no-burn” forecasting for coastal areas (including Dana Point). Beach burning in these areas would be prohibited only if the SCAQMD has forecast poor air quality conditions with levels greater than the federal 24-hour standard. Forecasting would be conducted year-round.

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► Beginning June 1, 2014, beach burning would be permitted only if the fire rings provided by the state or local authority are either more than 700 feet from the nearest residence or, if less than 700 feet, the beach fire rings were spaced at least 100 feet apart or 50 feet apart if there are no more than 15 fire rings within the city’s boundaries. Chronology of Events After passage of its Air Quality Management Plan (AQMP) in December 2012, the SCAQMD Board began a process to amend air quality rules to comply with both the mandates of the new AQMP, as well as broader Federal requirements. Multiple meetings and workshops have been held to discuss proposed amendments. Specifically, these meetings have discussed modifying SCAQMD Rule No. 444 and its standards related to “open burning” (fire rings). ► November 2012: Meeting of three designated Working Groups (“Residential Wood Burning,” “Agricultural,” and “Wildland Burning”) and comprised of representatives of industry, agencies, environmental organizations and interested persons. ► February 2013: Public Workshop held. Draft rules and a preliminary draft staff report released. ► March 28, 2013: A Public Consultation meeting held to present latest versions of proposed amendments to Rule 444. This latest proposal includes a recommendation to prohibit all fire rings starting January 1, 2015. ► March - June, 2013: In response to public and agency input, Proposed Amended Rule (PAR) No. 444 is again modified, and the requirement for total prohibition of beach burning is removed in favor of limited prohibition depending on the location of fire rings (specifically their proximity to residential development) as well as air quality as forecast by SCAQMD. An Addendum to the original proposal is slated for discussion at a June meeting of the SCAQMD Board. ► June 7, 2013: SCAQMD Board Meeting. Discussion of PAR No. 444/Addendum continued to Friday, July 12, 2013. DISCUSSION: There are approximately 36 fire rings located within the boundaries of the City of Dana Point, divided between two locations: ► Doheny State Beach (California State Parks): 32 fire rings ► Capistrano Beach Park (Orange County Parks): 4 fire rings

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If adopted, because of their location within 700 feet of residences, the proposed amendments to Rule No. 444 would result in the elimination of 20 of 32 fire rings from Doheny State Beach (only those located within the northern one-third of the facility’s camping area would be eligible to remain), and the potential elimination of all four fire rings within Capistrano Beach Park, for a total of 24 of 36 fire rings affected. It is worth mentioning that as of Monday, June 10, 2013, both houses of the California Legislature have approved a non-binding resolution, authored by Assemblymen Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and Alan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) that supports the protection of California beaches and beach traditions like fire rings. It’s unclear what impact the nonbinding resolution will have on the fire ring debate. However, the high level of support from the Legislature (59 Assembly members signed as co-authors and the Senate’s Monday vote was 32-0) demonstrates broad support for this time-honored tradition. It is recommended that the City Council authorize the Mayor to send the attached letter (Attachment A) to the Board of the SCAQMD and stating the City’s opposition to the amendments as proposed. NOTIFICATION/FOLLOW UP: With authorization from the City Council, the Mayor will send a letter to the Chair of the Board of the SCAQMD. ALTERNATIVE ACTION: 1. City Council-directed alternative action. FISCAL IMPACT: None. ACTION DOCUMENT: A. Letter from Mayor to the South Coast Air Quality Management District Page No. 4

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ACTION DOCUMENT A