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

CM | 1.50

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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.



Brian Clements

Brian Clements is the Program Manager for the Permit Services Department at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. In this position, he manages the District’s Voluntary Emission Reduction Agreement (VERA), California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), Air Toxics, Emissions Inventory, and Indirect Source Review (ISR) programs. Prior to ... Read More

Honey Walters

Honey Walters, one of Ascent’s founding partners, leads the firm’s climate change and air quality practice. She is an expert in GHG analysis, reduction planning, air quality impact assessments, and modeling. Honey has 16 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors that is coupled with ... Read More

Alison Kirk

Alison Kirk, AICP is a Senior Environmental Planner at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District), where her responsibilities include working with Lead Agencies to apply the Air District’s CEQA Guidelines, answering questions about the CAPCOA land use model CalEEMod, and CEQA document review. In previous positions ... Read More

Jessica Range

Jessica Range, LEED AP is a Senior Environmental Planner with the City and County of San Francisco where she oversees CEQA analysis and serves as a lead technical specialist for noise, air quality, greenhouse gases, and hazardous materials for the Planning Department. With the City and County of San Francisco ... Read More

Contact Info

Lynne Bynder,