2021 Legislative Tracker

The below list of bills related to climate change, particularly adaptation, are being tracked by ARCCA as a resource to its members and adaptation professionals in California. Please note that descriptions are pulled directly from the bill text in the Legislative Counsel’s Digest without any analysis, and some descriptions only include a portion of the summary. If you are interested in a particular bill, we encourage you to follow the link (bill number) to read the full text.

Last updated: Friday, September 24th at 4:09 PM PT

Jump to bill:  AB-9  AB-66 AB-72 AB-118 AB-585  AB-642  AB-897  SB-1  SB-12  SB-17 SB-63  SB-83  SB-99  SB-347  SB-456  SB-552

Bill tracking progress bars

To help users visually see the status of each bill, ARCCA launched a new progress bar tracker under each bill that simplifies the legislative process into 10 key steps. However, it should be noted that the percentages used in the visual tracker do not correspond with the actual amount of time it takes for bills to move through the legislative process.

10% Introduction / First reading in the house of origin
20% Committee hearings
30% Second reading
40% Third reading
50% First reading in the other house
60% Committee hearings
70% Second reading
80% Third reading
90% Resolution of differences
100% To Governor to sign or veto

AB-9 (Wood) Fire safety: wildfires: fire adapted communities.

This bill would establish in the [Natural Resources Agency Department of Conservation] the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program to support regional leadership to build local and regional capacity and develop, prioritize, and implement strategies and projects that create fire adapted communities and landscapes by improving ecosystem health, community wildfire preparedness, and fire resilience. The bill would require, among other things, the department to, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, provide block grants to regional entities, as defined, to develop regional strategies that develop governance structures, identify wildfire risks, foster collaboration, and prioritize and implement projects within the region to achieve the goals of the program. The bill would require the department to, upon an appropriation by the Legislature, provide block grants to eligible coordinating organizations, as defined, to support the statewide implementation of the program through coordination of and technical assistance to regional entities, as well as to support forest health and resilience efforts across regions and throughout the state. The bill would also require the department to publish and update information on program implementation, as specified, on its internet website.

This bill would establish in the office the Deputy Director of Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation and would require the deputy director to be responsible for fire preparedness and mitigation missions of the department, as specified. The bill would require the deputy director and any subordinate employee to be primarily assigned to the responsibilities established above and would require them to be the lowest priority employees of the department for purposes of fire incident support duties. The bill would require the State Fire Marshal, on or before January 1, 2023, to provide the Legislature with a report identifying known personnel and resource shortfalls in implementing programs and activities overseen by the deputy director, as described above. The bill would require the office to establish a specified advisory committee and a certain program relating to wildfire mitigation, as provided.

This bill would transfer and delegate certain duties related to fire safety and wildfire prevention from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the State Fire Marshal, as provided. The bill would require the office to have access to all resources of the department in carrying out its mission.

09/23/21 – Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 225, Statutes of 2021.100%
100%

AB-66 (Boerner Horvath) Coastal resources: research: landslides and erosion: early warning system: County of San Diego

This bill would, upon appropriation by the Legislature, require the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, to conduct research on coastal cliff landslides and erosion in the County of San Diego, as provided. The bill would require the research to be completed by January 1, 2025. The bill would require by no later than March 15, 2025, the institution to provide a report to the Legislature with recommendations for developing a coastal cliff landslide and erosion early warning system based on available research. The bill would exempt the Regents of the University of California and its employees, acting in good faith, from civil liability for any harm resulting from measurements, predictions, or warnings regarding bluff failure, cliff landslides, or erosion contained in the report or from the research or related to the recommendations, unless those damages are the result of acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

9/10/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 4 p.m.100%
100%

AB-72 (Petrie-Norris) Environmental protection: Natural Resources Agency: coastal adaptation projects: sea level rise: regulatory review and permitting: report.

This bill would enact the Coastal Adaptation Permitting Act of 2021. The bill would require the [Natural Resources Agency] to explore, and authorize it to implement, options within the agency’s jurisdiction to establish a more coordinated and efficient regulatory review and permitting process for coastal adaptation projects that use natural infrastructure, as defined. The bill would require the agency to submit, by July 1, 2023, a report to the Legislature with suggestions and recommendations for improving and expediting the coordination between appropriate agencies in their regulatory review and permitting process for coastal adaptation projects that use natural infrastructure.

9/13/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 3 p.m.100%
100%

AB-118 (Kamlager) Emergency services: community response: grant program.

This bill would enact the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act, or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act, for purposes of creating, implementing, and evaluating the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program, which the act would establish. The bill would require the department to administer the program if appropriate funding is made available to the department. The bill would require the department to award grants to qualified grantees, which include city, county, and tribal departments of social services, disability services, health services, public health, or behavioral health, based on grant eligibility criteria developed in partnership with a stakeholder workgroup.

This bill would require each grantee to receive a minimum award of $250,000 per year under the program. The bill would require a grantee to award at least 90% of grant funds received to one or more qualifying community-based organizations, as defined. The bill would require funds awarded under the program to be utilized to create and strengthen community-based alternatives to law enforcement to lessen the reliance on law enforcement agencies as first responders to crisis situations unrelated to a fire department or emergency medical service response.

This bill would establish the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Program Fund within the State Treasury, and would provide that, upon appropriation by the Legislature, the moneys may be expended by the department for purposes of the program. The bill would prohibit the department from expending more than 5% of appropriated funds on administrative costs, as specified. The bill would require the department to award all grants by January 1, 2023.

9/15/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 5 p.m.100%
100%

AB-585 (Luz Rivas) Climate change: Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program.

This bill would establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program for the purpose of coordinating state efforts and supporting local and regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of, and reduce the public health risks of, extreme heat and the urban heat island effect, and would require the Office of Planning and Research to administer the program through the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program. Under the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program, the bill would require the Office of Planning and Research to coordinate the state’s efforts to address extreme heat and the urban heat island effect and to provide financial and technical assistance to eligible entities to support local and regional efforts to mitigate the impacts of, and reduce the public health risks of, extreme heat and or the urban heat island effect, as provided. The bill would require the Office of Planning and Research to submit a report to the Legislature by July 1, 2023, on certain matters relating to extreme heat and the urban heat island effect. The bill would require the Office of Planning and Research, before awarding grants under the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program, to adopt certain guidelines for the program and would require the Office of Planning and Research to seek input from the public public, academic and technical experts, and relevant state agencies, as appropriate, in the drafting of those guidelines. The bill would establish the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Fund in the State Treasury and would require the Office of Planning and Research, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to expend moneys in the fund for the implementation of the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program.

8/26/21 – In committee: Held under submission.70%
70%

AB-642 (Friedman) Wildfires.

This bill would require the [Director of Forestry and Fire Protection] to identify areas in the state as moderate and high fire hazard severity zones. The bill would modify the factors the director is required to use to classify areas into fire hazard severity zones, as provided. The bill would require a local agency, within 30 days of receiving a transmittal from the director that identifies fire hazard severity zones, to make the information available for public comment. Because the bill would impose additional duties on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to appoint a cultural burning liaison. The bill would require the cultural burning liaison to, among other duties, serve on the State Board of Fire Services and to advise the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on developing increased cultural burning activity.

This bill would require the State Fire Marshal, on or before July 1, 2023, to develop a proposal to establish a prescribed fire training center, as provided.

This bill would require the department, on or before July 1, 2023, to make recommendations on how to understand and model wildfire risk for a community and specific parcels. The bill would establish an advisory workgroup and would require the department to consult with the advisory workgroup, as specified, in the development of the recommendations. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2025.

9/09/21 – Senate amendments concurred in. To Engrossing and Enrolling.90%
90%

AB-897 (Mullin, Bennett, Quirk, and Ward) Office of Planning and Research: regional climate networks: climate adaptation action plans.

This bill would authorize eligible entities, as defined, to establish and participate in a regional climate network, as defined. The bill would require the [Office of Planning and Research], through the [Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program], to encourage the inclusion of agencies eligible entities with land use planning and hazard mitigation planning authority into regional climate networks. The bill would authorize a regional climate network to engage in activities to address climate change, as specified.

This bill would require a regional climate network to develop a regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan and to submit the plan to the office for review, comments, and certification, as described. The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2023, the office, through the program, to establish geographic boundaries for regional climate networks, and to develop and publish on its internet website guidelines on how eligible entities may establish regional climate networks and how governing boards may be established within regional climate networks. The bill would also require, on or before July 1, 2023, the office, through the program, in collaboration with the Office of Emergency Services, to develop and publish on its internet website guidelines, as prescribed, establishing standards and required content for a regional climate adaptation and resilience action plan, including certain information, analyses, and contents to be included in a plan and certain considerations and procedures for a regional climate network when preparing a plan.

This bill would require the office, through the program, to provide technical assistance to regions seeking to establish a regional climate network and to regional climate networks in developing regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans. The bill would require, on or before January 1, 2025, the office office, in consultation with the Office of Emergency Services, to make recommendations to certain policy and budget committees of the Legislature related to regional adaptation and resilience on expanding state support for the work of regional climate networks, as prescribed, and the potential sources of financial assistance and options for distributing state funds to support the creation and implementation of regional climate adaptation and resilience action plans and to support technical assistance and capacity building to engage underresourced vulnerable communities and under-resourced communities in the development of the plans.

8/26/21 – In committee: Held under submission.70%
70%

SB-1 (Atkins and Petrie-Norris) Coastal resources: sea level rise.

This bill would also include, as part of the procedures the [California Coastal Commission] is required to adopt, recommendations and guidelines for the identification, assessment, minimization, and mitigation of sea level rise within each local coastal program, as provided. The bill would delete the timeframe specified above by which the commission is required to adopt these procedures. The bill would require the commission to take into account the effects of sea level rise in coastal resource planning and management policies and activities, as provided. In addition, the bill would require state and regional agencies to identify, assess, and, to the extent feasible and consistent with their statutory authorities, avoid, minimize, and mitigate the impacts of sea level rise. To the extent that a regional agency is a local public agency, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would add, as part of those goals, the goal of anticipating, assessing, planning for, and, to the extent feasible, avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating the adverse environmental and economic effects of sea level rise within the coastal zone.

This bill would create within the [Ocean Protection Council] the California Sea Level Rise State and Regional Support Collaborative. The bill would require the collaborative, among other things, to provide state and regional information to the public and support to local, regional, and other state agencies for the identification, assessment, planning, and, where feasible, the mitigation of the adverse environmental, social, and economic effects of sea level rise, as provided. The bill would require, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act, the collaborative to expend no more than $100,000,000 annually from appropriate bond funds and other sources for the purpose of making grants to local and regional governments to update local and regional land use plans to take into account sea level rise and for directly related investments to implement those plans, as provided. The bill would require the Secretary for Environmental Protection and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency, as part of the adoption of the annual Budget Act, to annually appear before the budget committees of both houses of the Legislature regarding the implementation of the above provisions.

This bill would instead authorize the [Secretary for Environmental Protection] to expend up to $2,000,000 per year for purposes of the grant program and would require up to $500,000 of that money to be expended by the secretary for grants to organizations working to address and mitigate the effects of sea level rise in disadvantaged communities, as defined, impacted by sea level rise.

9/23/21 – Chaptered.100%
100%

SB-12 (McGuire, Atkins, Caballero, and Dodd) Local government: planning and zoning: wildfires.

This bill would require the safety element, upon the next revision of the housing element or the hazard mitigation plan, on or after July 1, 2024, whichever occurs first, to be reviewed and updated as necessary to include a comprehensive retrofit strategy to reduce the risk of property loss and damage during wildfires, as specified, and would require the planning agency to submit the adopted strategy to the Office of Planning and Research for inclusion into the above-described clearinghouse. The bill would also require the planning agency to review and, if necessary, revise the safety element upon each revision of the housing element or local hazard mitigation plan, but not less than once every 8 years, to identify new information relating to retrofit updates applicable to the city or county that was not available during the previous revision of the safety element. By increasing the duties of local officials, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require a city or county that contains residential structures in a very high fire risk area, as defined, upon each revision of the housing element on or after July 1, 2024, to amend the land use element of its general plan to contain, among other things, the locations of all very high fire risk areas within the city or county and feasible implementation measures designed to carry out specified goals, objectives, and policies relating to the protection of lives and property from unreasonable risk of wildfire. The bill would require the city or county to complete a review of, and make findings related to, wildfire risk reduction standards, as defined, upon each subsequent revision of the housing element, as provided. The bill would require the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to review the findings and make recommendations, as provided.

See more on this bill by reviewing the Legislative Counsel’s Digest.

7/12/21 – July 12 set for first hearing. Failed passage in committee. (Ayes 4. Noes 2.) Reconsideration granted.70%
70%

SB-17 (Pan) Office of Racial Equity.

This bill, until January 1, 2029, would establish in state government an Office of Racial Equity, an independent public entity not affiliated with an agency or department, governed by a Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council. The bill would authorize the council to hire an executive director to organize, administer, and manage the operations of the office. The bill would task the office with coordinating, analyzing, developing, evaluating, and recommending strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies, departments, and the office of the Governor. The bill would require the office, in consultation with state agencies, departments, and public stakeholders, as appropriate, to develop a statewide Racial Equity Framework that includes a strategic plan with policy and inclusive practice recommendations, guidelines, goals, and benchmarks to reduce racial inequities, promote racial equity, and address individual, institutional, and structural racism. The bill would require the office to develop the statewide Racial Equity Framework in collaboration with a Chief Equity Officer, who would be appointed and serve at the pleasure of the Governor and who would report to the Secretary of Government Operations in the Government Operations Agency. The bill would also require the office, in consultation with state agencies and departments, to establish methodologies, a system of measurement, and data needs for assessing how state statutes, regulations, and practices contribute to, uphold, or exacerbate racial disparities and to prepare an annual report that evaluates and reports on progress in, and any obstacles to, meeting statewide goals and policies established under the Racial Equity Framework.

The bill would require the Governor to direct the secretary of each state agency to adopt and implement the Racial Equity Framework through each agency’s Racial Equity Action Plan, which, when approved, which would be adopted by each state agency and integrated into the agency’s strategic plan. The bill would require the office to provide technical assistance to agencies during development of the Racial Equity Action Plan, to review, Plan and hold a public meeting to review and provide feedback regarding, and approve regarding each agency’s Racial Equity Action Plan, and to Plan. The bill would require the office to provide guidance and technical assistance to agencies in implementing strategies for racial equity consistent with the Racial Equity Action Plan. The bill would require the Racial Equity Action Plan to be posted publicly on each agency’s internet website. The bill would require each agency to prepare an annual report on the agency’s progress towards goals set forth in the Racial Equity Action Plan that shall include includes feedback and recommendations from the office, and to submit the report to the office, the Governor, and the Legislature, and would require each agency and the office post it on its internet website. the report on their internet websites.

8/23/21 – August 26 set for first hearing canceled at the request of author.70%
70%

SB-63 (Stern) Fire prevention: vegetation management: public education: grants: defensible space: fire hazard severity zones: forest management.

This bill, among other things, would also require the [Director of Forestry and Fire Protection] to identify areas of the state as moderate and high fire hazard severity zones and would require a local agency to make this information available for public review and comment, as provided. By expanding the responsibility of a local agency, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would also require the Director of Forestry and Fire Protection to establish a statewide program to allow qualified entities, as defined, to support and augment the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in its defensible space and home hardening assessment and education efforts and to establish a common reporting platform for participating qualified entities to report defensible space and home hardening assessment data to the department. The bill would repeal this provision on January 1, 2026.

This bill would require, on or before January 1, 2026, the department, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board and the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force, to report to the relevant fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature on moneys spent pursuant to the above provision, as provided. The bill would require the department to annually appear, until January 1, 2030, before specified legislative committees to provide information on the outcomes of completed projects relating to healthy forest and fire prevention programs, as provided.

See more on this bill by reviewing the Legislative Counsel’s Digest.

9/17/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 1:30 p.m.100%
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SB-83 (Allen) Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan Program.

This bill would require the council, in consultation with the conservancy, to develop the Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan Program for purposes of providing low-interest loans to local jurisdictions for the purchase of coastal properties in their jurisdictions identified as vulnerable coastal property, as provided. The bill would require the council, before January 1, 2023, in consultation with other state planning and coastal management agencies, as provided, to adopt criteria and guidelines for the program. The bill would authorize specified local jurisdictions to apply for, and be awarded, a low-interest loan under the program from the conservancy if the local jurisdiction develops and submits to the conservancy a vulnerable coastal property plan. The bill would require the conservancy to review the plans to determine whether they meet the required criteria and guidelines for vulnerable coastal properties to be eligible for participation in the program.

The bill would establish the Sea Level Rise Revolving Loan Fund, to be administered by the conservancy, for purposes of providing, upon appropriation, the low-interest loans to eligible local jurisdictions, as provided. The bill would also require that loan repayments, fees, and penalties be deposited in the fund for specified uses, upon appropriation by the Legislature, including for additional loans authorized under the program.

The bill would make the bill’s provisions contingent upon an appropriation by the Legislature for its purposes.

9/17/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 1:30 p.m.100%
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SB-99 (Dodd) Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021.

This bill, the Community Energy Resilience Act of 2021, would require the [Natural Resources Agency State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission] to develop and implement a grant program for local governments to develop community energy resilience plans and expedite permit review of distributed energy resources. The bill would authorize a community choice aggregator or other regional energy collaborative to apply for funding and prepare a community energy resilience plan on behalf of one or more of the local governments it serves upon request of that local government. The bill would set forth guiding principles for plan development, including equitable access to reliable energy, as provided. resources by local governments. The bill would require that the plans to be consistent with the city, county, or city and county general plan and other local government planning documents. The bill would require a plan to, among other things, ensure that a reliable electricity supply is maintained at to identify critical facilities and identify areas most likely to experience a loss of electrical service. The bill would require a public utility to share information identifying critical facilities and areas most likely to experience a loss of electricity with the local government, community choice aggregator, or regional energy collaborative that is preparing a community energy resilience plan. The bill would authorize grant funding awarded to be expended to complete environmental clearance of community energy resilience projects identified in the plan. facilities, locations and facilities where the construction of microgrids could meet local resilience needs, and potential funding sources, as specified.

The bill would require the commission to maintain a publicly available and searchable database of all local governments, community choice aggregators, or regional energy collaboratives governments receiving grant funding pursuant to the program, including information on specific plan projects. program. The bill would require a local government, community choice aggregator, or regional energy collaborative, as a condition of receiving grant funding, to submit its plan and a report of project expenditures to the commission within 6 months of completing the plan. The bill would require the commission to annually report specified information about the grant program to the Legislature and post the report on its internet website.

8/26/21 – August 26 hearing: Held in committee and under submission.70%
70%

SB-347 (Caballero) Urban forestry: California Community and Neighborhood Tree Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund.

This bill would allow a taxpayer to designate an amount in excess of personal income tax liability to be transferred into the California Community and Neighborhood Tree Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund, which the bill would create. The bill would require the Franchise Tax Board to revise the tax return to include a space for this fund for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, and until January 1, 2028, unless the fund fails to meet an annual minimum contribution amount of $250,000, in which case these provisions would be repealed on December 1 of that year. The bill would require moneys transferred to the California Community and Neighborhood Tree Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund to be continuously appropriated and allocated to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to the grant program for urban forest management activities under the California Urban Forestry Act of 1978 and to the Franchise Tax Board and the Controller for related administrative costs, as provided. By continuously appropriating these funds, the bill would make an appropriation.

7/16/21 – Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 104, Statutes of 2021.100%
100%

SB-456 (Laird) Fire prevention: forest health: action plan: reports.

This bill would rename the [Forest Management Task Force] the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force and require the task force, including the [Natural Resources Agency] and the [Department of Forestry and Fire Protection], on January 1, 2022, to develop a comprehensive implementation strategy to track and ensure the achievement of the goals and key actions identified in the action plan, as provided. The bill would require the implementation strategy to address specified actions, including increasing the pace and scale of wildfire and forest resilience activities, as provided. The bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2048, to submit a report containing specified information, including progress made in achieving the goals and key actions identified in the action plan, to the appropriate policy and budget committees of the Legislature. The bill would require the task force, on or before January 1, 2026, and every 5 years thereafter, to update the action plan, as provided. The bill would require the task force to invite the participation of specified federal entities in the creation, alignment, and coordination of joint efforts related to the above-described provisions.

9/09/21 – Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 1 p.m.100%
100%

SB-552 (Hertzberg) Drought planning: small water suppliers: nontransient noncommunity water systems.

This bill would require small water suppliers, as defined, serving 1,000 to 2,999 service connections, inclusive, and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools, no later than July 1, 2023, to develop and maintain an abridged Water Shortage Contingency Plan that includes specified drought-planning elements. The bill would require a small water supplier serving fewer than 1,000 service connections to add drought planning elements to its emergency notification or response plan and submit the plan to the state board. The bill would require these water systems to report annually specified water supply condition information to the state board through the state board’s Electronic Annual Reporting System or other reporting tool, as directed by the state board. The bill would require small water suppliers and nontransient noncommunity water systems that are schools to implement, subject to funding availability, specified drought resiliency measures, including, among others, having at least one backup source of water supply and metering each service connection. The bill would exempt from these provisions small water suppliers, or small water suppliers integrated into larger water systems, that voluntarily choose to instead comply with specified existing law relating to urban water management plans.

This bill would require a county to establish a standing county drought and water shortage task force to facilitate drought and water shortage preparedness for state small water systems and domestic wells within the county’s jurisdiction, as provided. The bill would authorize a county, in lieu of establishing a standing task force, to establish an alternative process that facilitates drought and water shortage preparedness for state small water systems and domestic wells within the county’s jurisdiction, as provided. The bill would provide that a county that establishes a drought task force on or before January 1, 2022, shall be deemed in compliance with these requirements as long as the task force continues to exist. The bill would require a county to develop a plan that includes potential drought and water shortage risk and proposed interim and long-term solutions, as provided. Because the bill would impose additional duties on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the [Department of Water Resources] to take specified actions to support implementation of the recommendations from the County Drought Advisory Group. The bill would require the department to form a standing interagency drought and water shortage task force to, among other things, facilitate proactive planning and coordinating, both for predrought planning and postdrought emergency response, which shall consist of various representatives, including representatives from local governments. Because the bill would impose additional duties on local governments, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

9/23/21 – Chaptered.100%
100%
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