Jobs and Economic Improvement through Environmental Leadership Act Assembly Bill 900


Process for Greenhouse Gas Methodologies and Documentation Submittal to the California Air Resources Board

This page last reviewed February 27, 2012

Governor Brown signed the “Jobs and Economic Improvement through Environmental Leadership Act” (Act) in September 2011.  The Act requires the Governor to establish procedures for applying for streamlined judicial review for certain qualified projects.  Guidelines for applying to the Governor for the streamlining under Public Resources Code Section 21178 et seq. are available on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website at http://www.opr.ca.gov/s_californiajobs.php .

As described in the guidelines, for purposes of California Public Resources Code section 21183 (c), an applicant shall submit electronically to the Air Resources Board (ARB) a proposed methodology for quantifying a project’s net additional greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and documentation that the project does not result in any net additional GHGs.  Both can be submitted to ARB at the following email address:  

 
In addition, applicants are encouraged to contact ARB via the same email address with any questions about ARB’s review.  ARB requests that any questions or initial contact via the email address include a simple description of the project.  This will help ARB to assign the appropriate technical staff and facilitate a quicker response.
 

ARB’s role and process:

 
The Governor may certify a project for streamlining pursuant to AB 900 if certain conditions are met.  One such condition is that the “project does not result in any net additional emission of greenhouse gases, including greenhouse gas emissions from employee transportation, as determined by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to Division 25.5. (commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code.”  (Pub. Resources Code ß 21183 (c).)  ARB’s determination on greenhouse gas emissions under the Act is for the limited purpose of the Governor’s findings and certification.  
 
If the applicant is not the lead agency, ARB encourages the applicant to work closely with the lead agency to identify GHG quantification methodologies and mitigation measures before submitting their documentation for ARB’s determination.  ARB wants to ensure that its determination is based on the best information about the project design, quantification methodologies, and mitigation measures that the lead agency will consider. 

ARB suggests that the following steps be taken for the submittal/evaluation of GHG methodologies and documentation, although ARB’s review and process of any particular application may differ based on the individual facts and circumstances of that application:

For applicants that are also the lead agency:


  1. Applicant sends ARB an email indicating its intent to submit proposed GHG methodologies and documentation along with a simple description of the proposed project so that ARB can assign the appropriate technical staff to respond.
  2. ARB holds a pre-submittal meeting with the applicant regarding the project in an effort to provide direction on the submittal and associated process.
  3. Applicant submits its GHG methodologies and documentation to ARB.
  4. ARB evaluates the submittal.
  5. ARB drafts its evaluation and shares it with the applicant.
  6. ARB finalizes its determination and transmits it to the Governor’s Office.

For applicants that are not a lead agency:


  1. Applicant meets with the lead agency to discuss the proposed project including emission quantification methodologies and potential mitigation measures.
  2. Applicant makes any adjustments to the project, emission quantification methodologies, or mitigation measures per direction from the lead agency.
  3. Applicant sends ARB an email indicating its intent to submit proposed GHG methodologies and documentation along with a simple description of the proposed project as well as the lead agency contact so that ARB can assign the appropriate technical staff to respond.
  4. ARB contacts the lead agency for the proposed project to discuss their perspective on the emission quantification methodologies and any mitigation measures.
  5. ARB holds a pre-submittal meeting with the applicant regarding the project in an effort to provide direction on the submittal and associated process.
  6. Based on the applicable facts the ARB will: 1) encourage the applicant to proceed with submitting GHG methodologies and documentation; 2) recommend that the applicant follow-up with the lead agency on outstanding questions before submitting GHG methodologies and documentation; or 3) schedule a coordination meeting that includes the lead agency and applicant prior to submitting GHG methodologies and documentation.
  7. Applicant submits its GHG methodologies and documentation to ARB.
  8. ARB evaluates the submittal in consultation with the lead agency.
  9. ARB drafts its evaluation and shares it with lead agency.
  10. ARB finalizes its determination and transmits it to the Governor’s Office.
  11. The above steps apply provided the lead agency is available to work within the schedule established for ARB under the Act.  If this is not possible, ARB may seek additional time as provided for under the Act or proceed with finalizing its evaluation and determination under the Act.

To facilitate efficient evaluations, ARB suggests GHG methodologies and documentation submitted to ARB should follow the principles listed below:  

  • GHG methodologies and documentation should include the technical basis for characterizing and quantifying GHG emissions from all sources.
  • GHG methodologies and documentation should provide the technical basis for characterizing and quantifying the GHG reduction potential of proposed GHG reduction strategies.
  • GHG reduction strategies should fully offset calculated GHG emissions generated by the project.
  • All determinations should be supported by reasoning and evidence to be included in the GHG methodologies and documentation.        

          

      

   


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