March 24, 2015
March 26 , 2015

Mitigation efforts to reduce emissions from construction activities and the build-out of land development projects are essential in order for the Sacramento region to meet state and federal ambient air quality standards.

Construction Emissions Mitigation

Projects that exceed the short-term construction threshold of 85 pounds per day of NOx must mitigate the air quality impact. Standard language for construction mitigation (known as Enhanced Exhaust Control Practices) (October 2013) is recommended for these projects and is available in PDF and Word. When the standard mitigation does not reduce the impact to below the threshold a mitigation fee is recommended.

The following tools and procedure assist in determining if the heavy-duty off-road mobile equipment fleet meets the standard mitigation:

Jurisdictions, developers and contractors may consult the construction mitigation protocol fact sheet (January 2014) (PDF) on the construction mitigation requirements and process.

Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA):  If your construction project is within a NOA area, you must submit a Dust Mitigation Plan or Geologic Evaluation to the AQMD prior to receiving a grading permit.  The NOA map, state regulation, and other NOA resources are on the NOA page.  For NOA assistance call the AQMD at (916) 874-4800.

Operational Emissions Mitigation

Projects that exceed the long-term operation thresholds of 65 pounds per day of NOx or ROG must mitigate the air quality impacts using all feasible mitigation. The AQMD recommends the project proponent develop an Air Quality Mitigation Plan (AQMP) for ozone precursors, describing how the project will reduce emissions by 15% for projects considered in the State Implementation Plan and 35% for projects not considered in the State Implementation Plan.

In addition, since the passage of AB32, lead agencies have required proponents to mitigate their project’s anticipated greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) if found to be significant. If the lead agency has not yet adopted a Climate Action Plan as part of its General Plan from which projects could tier, the lead agency may ask proponents to mitigate GHG on a project basis by creating a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan (GHGRP)

The AQMD’s Recommended Guidance for Land Use Emission Reductions v 3.1 (June 2014) (PDF) provides a description of the most current feasible mitigation measures and their corresponding NOx, ROG and GHG reduction potential.  Proponents should use the guidance and the California Emissions Estimator Model (CalEEMod) to create AQMPs and GHGRPs.  Projects that issued a Notice of Preparation before April 1, 2013 may use version 2.5 (PDF) of the guidance and its associated Guidance for GHG Reduction (PDF).  Additional mitigation measures may be developed using CAPCOA’s guidance document entitled Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures, A Resource for Local Government to Assess Emission Reductions from Greenhouse Gas Mitigation (PDF), released August 2010.

The AQMD is committed to working with proponents on their AQMPs and GHGRPs. The AQMD recommends that plans be submitted early in the development process for evaluation. Jurisdictions typically require proponents to have their AQMP and/or GHGRP verified by AQMD staff prior to project approval.

Questions about the Guidance should be directed to J.J. Hurley ( or (916) 874-2694) or Paul Philley ( or (916) 874-4882).

Jurisdictions and developers may consult the operational mitigation protocol fact sheet (September 2014) (PDF) on the operational mitigation requirements and process.

Mitigation Fee

As of July 1, 2014, the mitigation fee rate is $17,720 per ton of emissions. The mitigation fee calculator (June 2014) (XLS) may be used to determine the fee for construction projects when off-site mitigation is needed. The calculator includes an administrative fee.

Mitigation fees are adopted by Lead Agencies through the CEQA process. The AQMD officially requested Lead Agencies to consider mitigation and administrative fees for construction on July 8, 2005 (PDF) and January 8, 2007 (PDF), respectively.