SB 501 (Newman) Credit-based accountability mechanism to enforce hydrogen refueling station reliability

California State Capitol. Photo by Canva.

Existing law, The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 establishes the State Air Resources Board (ARB) as the state agency responsible for monitoring and regulating sources emitting greenhouse gases. The act authorizes the ARB to include the use of market-based compliance mechanisms. Pursuant to the act, the ARB has adopted the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard regulations.

Existing law requires the California Energy Commission (CEC), in partnership with the ARB and in consultation with other state agencies to develop and adopt a state plan to increase the use of alternative transportation fuels, which includes hydrogen. Existing law requires the CEC, in consultation with the ARB and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), to prepare a statewide assessment of the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) fueling infrastructure and fuel production needed to support the adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs).

This bill would:

  • Require the CEC to develop a plan for improving reliability, service quality, and operational uptime of retail hydrogen fueling stations;
  • Require specified metrics for measuring reliability;
  • Require the use of a public workshop process to develop the measures;
  • Require hydrogen refueling stations to maintain a publicly available online customer feedback portal, post the online address for the portal in a place clearly visible to a customer during refueling, and disqualify a refueling station from receiving publicly funded grants if it fails to comply;
  • Require the CEC to convene a public workshop process to create additional feedback portal requirements;
  • Require the CEC to use the data collected under these provisions to develop numerical scales for station operator and station quality rankings;
  • Require the CEC to create a website with an interactive map of every hydrogen refueling station in the state that provides specified information for each station;
  • Require the ARB to develop a performance penalty and quality bonus wherein the poorest performing stations would have a percentage of their Low-Carbon Fuel Standard credits withheld each quarter and those credits would be awarded to the highest performing stations.

Status: (Updated 2/5/24): Failed in Appropriations Committee.

Full bill text and related information.

Bill Author: Senator Josh Newman