ARB Seeks Public Feedback on Pollution Reduction Strategy: San Joaquin Workshop

News

The Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) will conduct a second public workshop to discuss ARB’s Proposed ShortLived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy (Proposed Strategy).  (Scroll down for background on this.) ARB released the Proposed Strategy and the Draft Environmental Analysis (EA) for the Proposed Strategy for public review on April 11, 2016. During the workshop, ARB staff will provide a summary of the Proposed Strategy.  We welcome and encourage your participation in this effort.

The additional workshop will be held on the following date and time:

Date: May 3, 2016
Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location:
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District
Southern Region Office
34946 Flyover Court
Bakersfield, CA 93308

Directions:
http://www.valleyair.org/General_info/Directions_Bakersfield.htm

This additional workshop will be webcast for those unable to
attend in person.  The webcast can be accessed at:
http://www.valleyair.org/Workshops/public_workshops_idx.htm.
Questions or comments can be submitted during the workshop to
webcast@valleyair.org.

The public can also attend this workshop by video conference at
the air district’s Modesto and Fresno offices:

Modesto Office
4800 Enterprise Way
Modesto, CA 95356

Fresno Office
1990 E. Gettysburg Avenue
Fresno, California 93726

Background
Shortlived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time than major climate pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2).  Their relative potency in terms of how they heat the atmosphere can be tens to thousands of times greater than CO2. SLCPs include black carbon, methane, and fluorinated gases, including hydrofluorocarbons.  The impacts of SLCPs are especially strong within the near term.  Reducing these emissions can have an immediate beneficial impact on climate change.

SLCP reductions are important to continuing and maintaining the greenhouse gas reductions called for by AB 32 (Nunez, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2006) and SB 605
(Lara, Chapter 523, Statutes of 2014), and to ensuring emissions meet the statewide greenhouse gas emission limit that AB 32 established.  The Proposed Strategy is identified in the First Update to the Climate Change Scoping Plan as one of the recommended actions to achieve additional greenhouse gas emission reductions.  SB 605 further requires ARB, in coordination with other State agencies and local air districts, to develop a
strategy to further reduce SLCP emissions in California.

A Draft Strategy was released for public comment on September 30, 2015.  After considering comments received, ARB staff released the Proposed Strategy on April 11, 2016, which will be presented to the Board at a public meeting on May 19, 2016.  The Board will not vote on the Proposed Strategy at this meeting; a second Board
meeting will be scheduled for either late summer or early fall for the Board to consider approving a final SLCP Strategy, along with final environmental documents.

Environmental Analysis
ARB, as the lead agency for the Proposed Strategy, prepared a Draft Environmental Analysis (EA) in accordance with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and ARB’s regulatory program certified by the Secretary of
Natural Resources (California Code of Regulation, title 17, sections 60006-60008; California Code of Regulation, title 14, section 15251, subdivision (d)).  The resource areas from the CEQA Guidelines Environmental Checklist were used as a framework for a programmatic environmental analysis of the reasonably foreseeable compliance responses resulting from implementation of the proposed measures discussed in the Proposed Strategy.  The Draft EA provides an analysis of both the beneficial and adverse
impacts and feasible mitigation measures for the reasonably foreseeable compliance responses associated with the proposed measures under each of the 17 environmental resource areas.

Collectively, the Draft EA concluded implementation of these actions could result in the following short-term and long-term beneficial and adverse impacts: beneficial long-term impacts in reduced greenhouse gas emissions; less-than-significant impacts to air quality, biological resources, energy demand, geology and soils, greenhouse gases (short-term), hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, resources related to land
use planning, mineral resources, noise, population and housing, public services, and recreational services; and potentially significant and unavoidable adverse impacts to aesthetics, agriculture and forest resources, air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, resources related to land use planning, noise, transportation/traffic, and
utilities and service systems.  The potentially significant and unavoidable adverse impacts are primarily related to short-term construction-related activities, which explains why some resource areas are identified above as having both less-than-significant
impacts and potentially significant impacts.  Please refer to the Draft EA for further details.

Public Comments on the Proposed Strategy and Draft EA The Proposed Strategy and its appendices, including the Draft EA (Appendix C), can be obtained from ARB’s shortlived climate pollutant website at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/shortlived/shortlived.htm.   ARB invites comments on the Proposed Strategy and Draft EA during the 45-day public comment period that begins on April 11, 2016, and ends on May 26, 2016.  Submittal of comments on both documents should be made to:  http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php.  The meeting agenda, staff presentation, and any other related
materials will be distributed prior to the workshops.  These documents will be posted in advance on ARB’s ShortLived Climate Pollutant website (see above).

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