Chapter 7.30
NOTICING REQUIREMENTS, INDEMNIFICATION AND FINANCIAL ASSURANCES FOR THE USE OF RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY

Sections:

7.30.010    Findings.

7.30.020    Purpose.

7.30.030    Applicability.

7.30.040    Definitions.

7.30.050    Notice.

7.30.060    Indemnification and financial assurances.

7.30.070    Enforcement.

7.30.080    Severability.

7.30.090    Repealed.

7.30.010 Findings.

(A)    Uses of recombinant DNA processes involving the release of genetically engineered organisms into the open environment may pose risks to public health, safety and the environment not adequately addressed under current Federal and State regulations.

(B)    While the control of the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment may generally be considered the responsibility of Federal and State governments, it is local government that may initially be called upon to respond to any adverse effects on public health, safety and the environment resulting from the release of such organisms into the open environment.

(C)    In order for local government to have the capacity to provide appropriate response in such instances, it is, at minimum, necessary for local government to have notice of all uses of recombinant DNA technology and the genetically engineered organisms created by the recombinant DNA process which have not been approved by either the State or Federal government for use in the manner and for the purposes now proposed.

(D)    In order to protect the public health, safety and the environment, it is in the public interest for local government to establish rules and requirements for such activity involving recombinant DNA technology. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish policy, standards and requirements pertaining to the use of recombinant DNA technology so that public health and safety and the environment be afforded the maximum degree of protection. It is not the intent of this chapter to enter the regulatory sphere occupied by Federal and/or California State Government; rather, it is the intent of this chapter to more fully carry out the County’s health and safety authority in areas not presently covered by State or Federal law or regulation. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.030 Applicability.

This chapter is applicable to the use of recombinant DNA technology, the use of genetically engineered organisms created by the recombinant DNA process, or the use of any product created thereby, within the unincorporated portions of the County of Santa Cruz subject to the following exceptions:

(A)    Any use of any “economic poison” as defined in Section 11501.1 of the California Food and Agricultural Code, and certified by the California Department of Food and Agriculture for its use, experimental or otherwise, in the manner and for the purposes now proposed.

(B)    Any use of recombinant DNA technology, genetically engineered organisms created by the rDNA process, or products created thereby, duly given final approval and certified by the Federal and/or California State Government for its use (experimental or otherwise) in the manner and for the purposes now proposed. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.040 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined as follows:

(A)    “DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid.

(B)    “Genetically engineered organisms” means organisms including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses, created or modified by recombinant (rDNA) technology. It does not include nonliving or nonreproducing organisms or products.

(C)    “Genetic engineering” means a process or technology employed whereby the hereditary apparatus of a living cell is altered, modified or changed so that the cell can produce more or different chemicals or perform completely new functions.

(D)    “Open environment” means an area outside a particular sealed environment in which the subject rDNA material is contained.

(E)    “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, trust, corporation, company, estate, public or private institution, association, organization or group, and any representative, officer, employee or agent of any of the foregoing.

(F)    “Recombinant DNA (rDNA)” means molecules that:

(1)    Consist of different segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (natural or synthetic) that have been joined together in an environment outside any cell or cellular organisms and which have the capacity to replicate in some host cell either autonomously or after they have been integrated into the host cell’s genome; or

(2)    Are the result of a replication of the DNA molecules described in subsection (F)(1) of this section.

(G)    “Use of recombinant DNA technology” or “DNA technology” means an activity, either commercial or noncommercial, undertaken by any person to use recombinant DNA for any purpose, including but not limited to the creation of a product or by-product of genetically engineered organisms, when that use involves the entrance of recombinant DNA into the host cell or the packaging of such DNA into a vector capable of effecting such an entrance.

(H)    “Release” means to discharge, emit or liberate any genetically engineered organism, or the product of a genetically engineered organism, created by the recombinant DNA process into the open environment. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.050 Notice.

(A)    No person shall make nonexempt use of rDNA technology within the unincorporated portions of the County of Santa Cruz, without first providing notice at least 90 days in advance of such activity to both the County Health Officer and the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz.

(B)    The required notice shall include the following information:

(1)    The name, mailing and office address, telephone number and authority of the person submitting the notice.

(2)    A complete description of the proposed rDNA technology activity. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.060 Indemnification and financial assurances.

(A)    The person proposing each and every nonexempt use of rDNA technology shall indemnify and hold harmless the County and its officers, agents and employees from actions or claims of any description brought on account of any injury or damages sustained (including death) by any person or property resulting from the proposed rDNA activity.

(B)    The person proposing each and every nonexempt use of rDNA technology shall provide financial assurances that are adequate to respond to damage claims arising from such use. Such financial assurances shall be in the form of a trust fund, surety bond, letter of credit, insurance or other equivalent financial arrangement in a form determined to be satisfactory by the County, and shall be in an amount determined to be satisfactory by the County. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.070 Enforcement.

(A)    It shall be the duty of the Health Officer of the County of Santa Cruz to enforce this chapter, and all designated officers and employees of the County department are charged with the enforcement of this chapter and each and every provision thereof.

(B)    Any person, whether as principal or agent, employee or otherwise, violating or causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the County jail of the County of a term not exceeding six months or by both such fine and imprisonment. Such person, agency, firm or corporation shall be deemed to be guilty of a separate offense for each day during any portion of which any violation of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by such person and shall be punishable as herein provided.

(C)    Any building or structure set up, erected, constructed, altered, enlarged, converted, moved or maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter, and/or any use of the land, building or premises established, conducted, operated or maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be, and the same is declared to be, a violation of this chapter and a public nuisance.

(D)    The County may summarily abate, or abate pursuant to Chapter 1.14 SCCC, any public nuisance and the County Counsel or the District Attorney, upon order of the Board of Supervisors, may bring civil suit, or other action, to enjoin or abate the nuisance.

(E)    Each day any violation of this chapter continues shall be regarded as a new and separate offense. The remedies provided in this chapter shall be cumulative and not exclusive.

(F)    Any person who creates or maintains a public nuisance in violation of this chapter shall be liable for the costs of abatement which shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)    Costs of investigation;

(2)    Costs of removing genetically engineered organisms from the open environment, cleanup and restoration of the environment;

(3)    Cost of County employee enforcement time;

(4)    Court costs;

(5)    Costs of monitoring compliance.

(G)    Should any person violate the terms of this chapter and any action be authorized by the Board of Supervisors, either by the County Counsel, or the District Attorney, or be in fact filed by either or both of such agencies for the violation, no other action shall be taken on any application filed by or on behalf of said person until the violation has been resolved, or such application is denied or conditionally approved. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.080 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any section, paragraph, sentence, phrase or word of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason, that decision shall not affect any other portion of this chapter, which shall remain in full force and effect. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].

7.30.090 Review.

Repealed by Ord. 4342. [Ord. 3904 § 1, 1988].