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Mitigation

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August 5, 2015
August 18, 2015
August 27, 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:

For projects that are required to track and mitigate on-road haul truck activities, the second page of the model Equipment List can be utilized to gather fleet information. Additionally, the District provides a Haul Truck calculator (July 2015) (XLS) to estimate emissions.

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 3.2 (April 2015) (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, 2015 may use either the current version or guidance adopted at the time of the Notice of Preparation (all versions of the guidance can be found below) and its associated Guidance for GHG Reduction (PDF).  Additional mitigation measures may be developed using CAPCOA’s guidance document titled 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 Karen Huss (KHuss@airquality.org or (916) 874-4881) or Paul Philley (PPhilley@airquality.org 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.

Versions of the SMAQMD Recommended Guidance for Land Use Emission Reductions
Version

Dates Valid

Version 1.0 (PDF)

Before 08/15/2007

Version 2.4 (PDF)

08/15/2007 to 01/11/2010

Version 2.5 (PDF)

01/12/2010 to 06/30/2013

Version 3.0 (PDF)

07/01/2013 to 05/31/2014

Version 3.1 (PDF)

06/01/2014 to 03/31/2015

Version 3.2 (PDF)

04/01/2015 to Present

 

Mitigation Fee

As of July 1, 2015, the mitigation fee rate is $18,030 per ton of emissions. The mitigation fee calculator (June 2015) (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.