EKAPCD CEQA Greenhouse Gas Policy________________
A public hearing was held on 12, 1:00 pm at Ridgecrest City Hall, 100 W California Ave, Ridgecrest, CA. At the hearing the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (EKAPCD) Governing Board adopted an addendum to the EKAPCD California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines titled: “Addressing GHG Emission Impacts for Stationary Source Projects When Serving as the Lead CEQA Agency.” This addendum is the policy that the EKAPCD will use when it is the lead agency for CEQA to determine the significance of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from new and modified stationary source (industrial) projects.
Click Here for EKAPCD CEQA GHG Policy
What is CEQA?
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
Who must comply with CEQA?
CEQA applies to certain activities of state and local public agencies. A public agency must comply with CEQA when it undertakes an activity defined by CEQA as a "project." A project is an activity undertaken by a public agency or a private activity which must receive some discretionary approval (meaning that the agency has the authority to deny the requested permit or approval) from a government agency which may cause either a direct physical change in the environment or a reasonably foreseeable indirect change in the environment.
Most proposals for physical development in California are subject to the provisions of CEQA, as are many governmental decisions which do not immediately result in physical development (such as adoption of a general or community plan). Every development project which requires a discretionary governmental approval will require at least some environmental review pursuant to CEQA, unless an exemption applies.
Basic requirements of environmental review under CEQA
The environmental review required imposes both procedural and substantive requirements. At a minimum, an initial review of the project and its environmental effects must be conducted. Depending on the potential effects, a further, and more substantial, review may be conducted in the form of an environmental impact report (EIR). A project may not be approved as submitted if feasible alternatives or mitigation measures are able to substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of the project.
EKAPCD assumes the following roles in implementation of CEQA:
1) As a lead agency, EKAPCD analyzes and prepares environmental documents for its own discretionary activities, such as, air quality attainment plans, rule development activities and discretionary EKAPCD permits which do not require a land use or other agency permit.
2) As a responsible agency, EKAPCD reviews environmental documents prepared by a lead agency or jurisdiction to reduce or avoid impacts to air quality and to ensure the lead agency's environmental document is adequate to fulfill CEQA requirements for EKAPCD permits. EKAPCD’s permit jurisdiction area encompasses Eastern Kern County.
3) As a concerned agency, EKAPCD provides guidance to mitigate adverse impacts to air quality from development projects in Eastern Kern County.
Purpose of EKAPCD’s Guidelines
The purpose of EKAPCD’s Guidelines is to set forth for EKAPCD staff, other governmental agencies, applicants and the public, definitions, procedures, and forms used by EKAPCD in implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et. seq.)] and to supplement State CEQA Guidelines, (14 Cal. Admin. Code Section 15000 et. seq.).