FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2017
(PDF)
En español (PDF)

Contact:
Molly Pearson, Planning and Grants Supervisor, (805) 961-8838
Lyz Hoffman, Public Information Officer, (805) 961-8819

Workshops on Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Santa Barbara County
Community Encouraged to Provide Input

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District will be holding two workshops later this month to discuss and gather input on strategies for greenhouse gas mitigation in Santa Barbara County. All members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend, and the format of the workshops will allow people to drop in at any point during the scheduled time. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
3:30-5:30pm
Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery
40 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara

Thursday, September 21, 2017
3:00-5:00pm
Betteravia Government Center, Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room
511 East Lakeside Parkway
Santa Maria

Greenhouse gas “mitigation” in this context means reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) to address increases from specific land-use projects or as part of local climate action plans. Because GHGs are a global pollutant, mitigation can potentially occur anywhere in the world to offset locally generated GHG emissions. However, local mitigation efforts could achieve additional local benefits. These workshops will explore GHG mitigation opportunities in Santa Barbara County.

For land-use projects, the District’s role under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is to review projects to be approved by lead agencies (usually, the city governments or County government) and assess whether air quality impacts have been adequately evaluated and mitigated. The District recommends that lead agencies prioritize GHG mitigations to occur first on-site, then near the site, then within California, and, only if other options have been exhausted, outside of California.

Through research and initial discussions, the District has identified several ideas for GHG mitigation strategies. Ultimately, any decision about whether to implement a particular mitigation measure as part of the CEQA process would rest with lead agencies. CEQA mitigation measures must be quantifiable and enforceable, and they must go beyond regulatory requirements.

Strategies that have been identified so far for local GHG mitigation include: 

  • rebates for zero-emission vehicles
  • expanded use of zero-emission school or transit buses
  • expanding zero-emission vehicle infrastructure
  • planting urban forests
  • conservation projects on working agricultural land
  • retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and battery storage
  • expanding the vessel speed reduction incentive program

The workshops will include additional information on these ideas, and will provide the opportunity for the public to ask questions and offer input. After the workshops, the District will summarize the comments received, revise the strategies as appropriate, and post the information online as a resource for lead agencies, project applicants, and government agencies preparing or updating climate action plans.

“We encourage residents, organizations, and businesses to attend the workshops and provide input on these ideas,” said District Director and Air Pollution Control Officer, Aeron Arlin Genet. “Local GHG mitigation provides both environmental and economic benefits for Santa Barbara County.”

 

See GHG Mitigation Strategies in Santa Barbara County  for more information.