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) (June 2012) 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:
- Use the Model Equipment List (Jan. 2010) (XLS) to gather fleet information.
- Use the Construction Mitigation Calculator (Jan 2012) (XLS 4.4 Mb) to determine if the fleet meets the emission reductions.
- Submit the completed equipment list and calculator file to Karen Huss (firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 874-4881) or Charlene McGhee (email@example.com or (916) 874-4883).
- Obtain an endorsement letter from AQMD staff prior to starting construction.
Jurisdictions may consult the construction mitigation protocol fact sheet (June 2012) (PDF) and contractors and developers may consult the tips fact sheet (Aug. 2006) (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 for NOx or ROG describing how the project will reduce emissions by 15% (standard goal).
The AQMD’s Guidance for Land Use Emission Reductions v 2.5 (Jan. 2010) (PDF) provides a description of the most current feasible mitigation measures and their corresponding NOX and ROG reduction potential. The AQMD's Model Air Quality Plan (PDF) provides an example of a typical Air Quality Mitigation Plan. On May 15, 2012, the AQMD released the proposed version 3.0 (PDF) of the Guidance for Land Use Emission Reductions, which incorporates CalEEMod and CAPCOA's GHG mitigation measures as noted below. Although version 3.0 is not required to be used until April 1, 2013, the AQMD encourages its use when project proponents are using CalEEMod for air quality analysis and mitigation quantification.
Increasingly, 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. The AQMD’s Guidance for GHG Reduction (PDF) contains GHG mitigation measures and quantification of those measures. 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 staff has incorporated this document into the Guidance for Land Use Emission Reductions version 3.0. The AQMD will work with proponents on their GHG Reduction Plans. Plans should be submitted to the AQMD for endorsement prior to project approval.
Air Quality Mitigation Plans must be endorsed by AQMD staff. Questions about the Guidance should be directed to J.J. Hurley (firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 874-2694) or Paul Philley (email@example.com or (916) 874-4882).
Jurisdictions may consult the operational mitigation protocol fact sheet (June 2012) (PDF) and developers may consult the tips fact sheet (Aug. 2006) (PDF) on the air quality mitigation plan requirements and process.
As of July 1, 2012, the mitigation fee rate is $17,080 per ton of emissions. The mitigation fee calculator (June 2012) (XLS) should be used to determine the fee for construction projects when off-site mitigation is needed. The calculator includes an administrative fee.
Emission reduction projects funded with mitigation fees are described in these fact sheets (Oct. 2006) (PDF).
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.