2008 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lennysiegel@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:18:48 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] California: Climate Change and Development
California Establishes Ground Rules for Assessing Climate Change Impacts for Development Projects

Heather S. Bowman, Jennifer Hernandez, and Abigail Leah "Abby" Ramsden
Holland & Knight "Environment"
June 23, 2008

On June 19, 2008, the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released a Technical Advisory explaining how impacts and mitigation measures from climate change and "greenhouse gas" (GHG) emissions should be addressed in environmental impact reports prepared for residential, commercial and industrial development and other projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This guidance will likely influence environmental impact analyses prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and similar state statutes.

The new guidance expands on existing California climate change legislation aimed at enforcing GHG reductions (AB 32), and requiring consideration of GHG issues in environmental analysis documents for a broad spectrum of projects (SB 97).

The Advisory begins by providing a background on the science of climate change and how it arises in the CEQA context. CEQA does not prescribe thresholds of significance for any given environmental impact; instead, the statute encourages public agencies to adopt their own thresholds. This determination presents a particular challenge in the framework of a climate change analysis, where science continues to evolve and effects are measured on a global scale. As a result, OPR has asked the Air Resources Board (ARB) technical staff to recommend a method for setting thresholds that will encourage a consistent approach statewide. In the meantime, this Advisory provides informal guidance for lead agencies attempting to make and mitigate a GHG threshold of significance determination.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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