Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Enhance Battery Storage Safety Standards

SACRAMENTO, CA – This weekend, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 38, authored by State Senator John Laird (D – Santa Cruz). Senate Bill 38, introduced in response to battery storage fires within the community, requires battery storage facilities to establish safety and communication protocols. 

“Increasing the state’s battery storage is essential to reaching our clean energy goals,” said Senator Laird, “but we also have to ensure that these facilities have safety systems in place to protect the health and well-being of workers and surrounding communities.”

“I thank Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation that has statewide benefits for the future of battery storage. It ensures California can continue responsibly transitioning to renewable energy while keeping the lights on and our residents safe.”

“Battery storage done right is critical to California’s transition to renewable energy sources,” said Assemblymember Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) “To meet the challenge of combating climate change, we must be thoughtful in ensuring the implementation of new technologies is done safely.”

Senator Laird introduced SB 38 after a fire broke out in September of 2022 at the Elkhorn Battery Storage Facility in Moss Landing, triggering a 12-hour shelter in place for local residents over fear that the lithium-ion battery fire released dangerous fumes into the air.

Senate Bill 38 requires battery storage facilities to develop an emergency response plan, in close coordination with local emergency response agencies, to establish a notification and communication procedure, and consider potential offsite impacts to the surrounding community and environment. Plans will be submitted to the county and city where the facility is located.


Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. More information on Senator Laird can be found here.