Air Quality: Developing Effective Offsite Mitigation Programs
Saturday, May 20, 2017
8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. CDT
San Francisco, CA, United States
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Offsite mitigation programs are routinely used to address impacts to biological and natural resources. Can offsite mitigation programs address air quality and greenhouse gas impacts too? Lead agencies evaluate air quality impacts in accordance with established thresholds. Projects that exceed these thresholds are required to implement feasible mitigation measures to reduce impacts to below threshold levels. Are offsite mitigation programs considered “feasible” under CEQA? And after incorporating offsite mitigation measures into a project, can impacts remain significant? The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and San Francisco Planning Department are exploring offsite mitigation opportunities to further reduce air quality impacts from development projects. San Francisco is developing an Offsite Mitigation Program as part of its development of a Citywide air quality plan aimed at reducing the adverse health effects of air pollution and the BAAQMD is developing an Offsite Mitigation Program to demonstrate that it is a feasible mitigation strategy under CEQA and to attain health- based ambient air quality standards and statewide climate stabilization goals. Offsite mitigation programs offer opportunities to clean up emissions from existing air pollution sources that adversely affect regional air pollution and could alleviate the need for expensive environmental impact reports. Offsite mitigation programs implemented locally can also reduce population exposure to harmful pollutants for the most vulnerable populations.
This session will discuss why offsite mitigation opportunities are important tools for CEQA mitigation and explore: the nexus required for CEQA mitigation; how to calculate the quantity and type of emissions needing to be offset; how to include offsite mitigation opportunities in CEQA documents and assessing the resulting environmental effect; the types of offsite projects that could be implemented; successful air quality offsite mitigation programs and lessons learned; and programs being developed at the regional and local level in the Bay Area including challenges and opportunities.
Lynne Bynder, email@example.com