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Santa Barbara County set to vote on greenhouse gas emissions

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Flickr member Doc Searls
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The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is scheduled to hold a special meeting Thursday to update guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions within the County. Specifically, the District is looking at pollution generated by business and industry.

The APCD's Molly Pearson said Wednesday that members will vote on one of two options for updated guidelines. The public will get a chance to speak prior to that vote.

Thursday's special meeting falls just a day after California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order focused on further reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions. He's now calling for the state to reduce carbon emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2030. That exceeds California's current goal of reaching 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Pearson said the board will likely address Gov. Brown's announcement, but it's too late to be considered as part of Thursday's vote. The APCD will eventually take the state's new guidelines and go through the same process previously taken to get to this point.

"With the Governor's Executive Order there are some new targets that are being established and the Governor has directed the Air Resources Board to incorporate those targets into their scoping plan," said Pearson. "So, once that's done, we'll have a better idea of what type of reductions need to be done for a target that reaches further, beyond 2020."

The APCD regulates stationary sources, and does not regulate motor vehicles—that's left up to the state. The District also reviews projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for air quality impacts, according to a staff report related to the vote.

The report also said examples of stationary sources covered by these guidelines include "projects associated with oil and gas facilities, landfills, large facilities such as hospitals or universities, and a wide-range of other types of facilities that have combustion devices."

MEETING DETAILS:

  • April 30, 2015 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Board of Supervisors’ Hearing Room
  • Betteravia Government Center
  • 511 East Lakeside Parkway Santa Maria, CA