Setting Project Significance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under CEQA
Two Options for Consideration
District Community Advisory Council Meeting Follows Public Workshop

March 25, 2015, 6:30 pm
Santa Ynez Valley Marriott
555 McMurray Road, Buellton, CA

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District will hold a public workshop to present two options for setting project significance to address greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Following the Public Workshop the District’s Community Advisory Council will consider the options presented and whether to recommend one for adoption by the District Board of Directors. Options below would apply to business and industry sources, referred to as stationary sources, of air pollution.

  • A Bright Line Threshold of 10,000 metric tons/year of GHG emissions. New or modified projects with emissions over this threshold would be required to mitigate, or reduce emissions.
  • AB32 Consistency Threshold. New or modified projects with emissions over a screening threshold of 10,000 metric tons of GHGs per year would be required to achieve a 15.3% reduction from Business as Usual emissions. Projects participating in the California Cap and Trade program under AB32 would be considered compliant with a qualified GHG reduction program.

Under both of these options, new or modified projects with emissions under 10,000 tons of GHGs per year would be deemed less than significant and would not be required to reduce emissions. Information is available for review at www.ourair.org/greenhouse-gases-and-ceqa.

The District’s Environmental Review Guidelines provide procedures for the District and other agencies to use when reviewing projects under CEQA. The District’s Guidelines are applied directly to projects for which the District is the lead agency under CEQA, including permits, rules, and plans. The District plans to update the Guidelines to include guidance for evaluating the significance of GHG emissions from stationary sources. Public workshops were held in May and December of 2014, and comments are posted at the above link. The following individuals or groups may be interested in attending the March 25th workshop:

  • Proponents of projects with new or modified stationary sources of air pollution in Santa Barbara County;
  • Agencies in Santa Barbara County that serve as lead agencies under CEQA;
  • Concerned members of the public;
  • Agencies, organizations and industries involved in climate change/greenhouse gas impact evaluation and mitigation.

For additional information, please see the District’s website at www.ourair.org/news, or contact Molly Pearson at (805) 961-8838.  To sign up to receive notices, please email [email protected].

to be published Sunday, March 8, 2015