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Air Resources Board releases revised analysis of alternatives to the Scoping Plan
Release begins 45-day public review and comment period, public workshop planned
SACRAMENTO - Today the California Air Resources Board released a supplement to the environmental analysis of the Scoping Plan document of 2008. The Scoping Plan presents a mix of measures and approaches to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 as required under AB 32, California’s climate change legislation.
The Supplement presents a revised analysis of the five alternatives to the Scoping Plan, including the cap and trade component, presented in the original environmental analysis (also known as the ‘Functional Equivalent Document’) for the 2008 Scoping Plan. The release institutes a 45-day public review and comment period. After the 45-day public review, ARB staff will consider comments received and prepare written responses to comments raising significant environmental issues.
The Supplement is posted on ARB’s website. A Board hearing is currently scheduled for August 24, 2011, for the Board’s reconsideration of its previous decision on the 2008 Scoping Plan in light of the revised environmental analysis.
In currently pending litigation, a California state trial court found that the analysis of the alternatives identified in the original environmental analysis was not sufficient for informed decision-making and public review under CEQA (Association of Irritated Residents, et al. v. California Air Resources Board, et al., San Francisco Superior Court, Case Number CPF-09-509562, May 20, 2011). ARB disagrees with the trial court finding and has appealed the decision. However, to remove any doubt about the matter, and in keeping with ARB’s interest in public participation and informed decision-making, ARB is revisiting the alternatives.
The revised analysis includes the five alternatives included in the original environmental analysis: a “no project” alternative (that is, taking no action at all); a plan relying on a cap-and-trade program for the sectors included in a cap; a plan relying more on source-specific regulatory requirements with no cap-and-trade component; a plan relying on a carbon fee or tax; and, a plan relying on a variety of proposed strategies and measures. The revised analysis relies on emissions projections updated in light of current economic forecasts, accounting for the economic downturn since 2008 and reduction measures already approved and put in place.
The Supplement to the AB 32 Scoping Plan Functional Equivalent Document (FED) is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/document/Supplement_to_SP_FED.pdf
Information about the time and place of the public workshop on the revised analysis will be posted at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/scopingplan/scopingplan.htm
ARB is accepting written comments on the revised analysis until July 28, 2011. Written comments may be submitted to: Clerk of the Board, Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, California 95814. Electronic submittal of comments is at: http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/comm/bclist.php
ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.