Sunday, 1 April 2012

Emission Management at the Urban Edge

One of the base-line metrics going forward. Be it county, state, national, or global. Keeping an envelope (and noting the annoncement that UK greenhouse gas emissions were down 7% in 2011!  in the news this week-end). It's a baby-steps path forward. Can we do better in our urban systems by integrated monitoring and management infrastructures. With Individuals being aware of their aggregated footprints. The Urban Dome idea from Picarro is part of that envelope - emissions related to people, working personal and group actions, in their life choices and social context fills out the middle. 

Greenhouse gas emission thresholds adopted

Thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions that will trigger environmental analysis and mitigation measures were narrowly adopted Wednesday by the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District board.
Directors voted 6-5, with Grover Beach representative Karen Bright absent, to adopt the thresholds despite objections from individuals and a home builders group.
But directors removed examples of mitigation measures that might be made mandatory in any local climate action plan over concerns some might think APCD was mandating those measures.
The board directed the staff to bring the issue back in a year with a list of projects that did and did not meet the thresholds.
In a separate 11-0 decision, the board asked the construction industry to provide data on mitigation costs for projects that exceed the thresholds.
Aeron Arlin-Genet, manager of APCD planning and outreach, said the guidelines will help implement Senate Bill 97 requirements for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions as part of the California Environmental Quality Act process.
“These thresholds will provide guidance to lead agencies, project proponents and the general public on how to implement SB 97 in a consistent and defensible fashion while streamlining the process for smaller projects,” she said.
Commercial and residential projects would not require analysis and quantified mitigation if:
  • The development is consistent with an agency’s adopted climate action plan;
  • The project would produce less than the “bright-line threshold” of 1,150 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year — the amount expected from a 70-unit urban residential subdivision, a 49-unit rural subdivision or a 40,000-square-foot urban strip mall; or,
  • The project’s yearly emissions do not exceed 4.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent for each employee and resident it serves.
The industrial project threshold would be 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions a year.
Arlin-Genet said 56 projects are expected to hit those thresholds by 2020.

Read more at the Santa Maria Times:

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