The State of Sustainability in Southern California


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This is a slidecast of our August lunch training session titled "The State of Sustainability in Southern California" which took place on August 25, 2011.

Chandra Krout, Principal of Krout and Associates, delivered an update on the current status of environmental planning occurring within Southern California, with a particular emphasis on climate change and adaptation.

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  • Question on AB32: To address global warming, do you favor or oppose the state law that requires California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2020? Question on SB375: The San Diego Association of Governments – or SANDAG – is developing a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution; promote shorter commutes; and conserve open space and natural areas in San Diego County through a variety of methods, including focusing the building of new homes in areas near jobs and schools, reducing commutes and traffic, and providing more transportation choices.
  • This document provides a risk analysisof the potential climate change impactsand implications for Melbourne overtime, combined with the likely changingdynamics of its population anddevelopment into the future.
  • The State of Sustainability in Southern California

    1. 1. Empowering organizations to advance sustainability while achieving <br />environmental benefits and cost savings.<br />
    2. 2. Core Services<br />Krout & Associates is a progressive thinking, Southern California based, full-service environmental strategic planning consultancy established to assist you with your challenging climate change, public policy, environmental, andfinite resource management projects. <br />Key services include:<br />green building <br />public policy<br />climate change/adaptation <br />energy efficiency<br />
    3. 3. The Status of Sustainability in Southern California<br />Where do I start…?<br />
    4. 4. Sustainability Process<br />
    5. 5. Sustainability Today<br />Public Opinion<br />National & Local Policy<br />Elements of a Solid Climate Action Plan <br />Climate Change & CEQA<br />Emerging Themes<br />Lessons Learned<br />
    6. 6. Public Opinion<br />National & Local Policy<br />Where are we now?<br />
    7. 7. Public Opinions <br />on Climate Change <br />Key Findings from A Countywide Voters Survey, August 10-18, 2010 Conducted by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates – FM3<br />A strong majority of voters believe that a strong economy and a clean environment are compatible.<br />Input provided by San Diego Foundation<br />
    8. 8. Total Favor 62%<br />Public Opinions <br />on Climate Change <br />Key Findings from A Countywide Voters Survey, August 10-18, 2010 Conducted by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates – FM3<br />By more than a two-to-one margin, voters support the goals of AB 32- the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006<br />Total Oppose 29%<br />Input provided by San Diego Foundation<br />
    9. 9. National Energy Policy Context<br />A discrete &unified U.S. energy policy DOES NOT exist<br />Historically, major shifts in U.S. energy policy have been triggered by interruptions, and subsequent price increases, in crude oil supply<br />1973 (Arab oil embargo)<br />1979–80 (triggered by the Iranian revolution)<br />1990 (associated with the Persian Gulf War)<br />
    10. 10. SB 375/SCS – Progress in the San Diego Region<br />The Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS) is a new element of the 2050 RTP<br />September: Responses to Draft RTP, SCS, and EIR comments, and proposed changes to the RTP, SCS, and EIR <br />October: Recommend finding of Air Quality Conformity, adoption of Final 2050 RTP, SCS, and EIR<br />SANDAG will be the first in the State with an adopted SCS<br />
    11. 11. What is missing?<br />Shortfall in significantly reduced vehicle miles traveled<br />The need to improve transit project phasing in order to balance transit and road investments<br />SANDAG does not propose eliminating any road or highway projects, or even portions thereof, from the 2030 RTP<br />Highway expansion is used as a climate emissions reduction strategy (contrary to what SB 375’s goal of reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled)<br />The need toimprove transit frequency in the near term<br />Lack of a map that illustrates how transit serves smart growth opportunity areas<br />Need to publish a table showing where %emissions reductions are achieved by type for the target dates (2020, 2035, 2050)<br />Input provided by Move San Diego<br />
    12. 12. SB 375/SCS—Progress in Orange County<br />OC SCS was adopted by OCTA & OCCOG in June 2011<br />SCAG’s Regional Council is expected to release draft RTP/SCS in November 2011<br />The final SCAG RTP that will include the regional SCS is expected in April 2012<br />
    13. 13. What is missing?<br />Does not go beyond currently adopted general plans to recommend revisions to promote economic growth & broad sustainability benefits that are synergistic at the regional/sub-regional level<br />Shouldn’t the SCS strive to set the bar higher than the status quo?<br />Does not reflect the forthcoming RHNA – which influences land uses at the local level<br />Should promote the selective use of such economies-of-scale<br />Potential future urban centers<br />Scalable TODs<br />Rapid transit corridor extensions<br />Large-scale developments can use land use arrangements and critical mass to reduce VMT by 15% (EPA)<br />
    14. 14. SCS & CEQA – The Missing Link Continues…<br />Need to state that upon CARB's acceptance of the SCAG SCS, local Orange County agencies will make all subsequent compliance determinations:<br />Compliance with the SCS when compared to the regional targets (not parcel specific designations),<br />Compliance with CEQA documentation regarding GHG emissions and, where appropriate, be tiered from the SCAG RTP EIR.<br />Need to state that local OC agencies should consider updating their CEQA policies to clarify their SCS determination procedures<br />
    15. 15. SB 375: Funding Challenges Ahead<br />Recent state takeaways: spillover & redevelopment – fun times! <br />SB 732 - $90 million in new planning money—is it enough for 480 cities, 58 counties, & 18 COGs, CEQA included? We need a sustainable source of planning funds!<br />What about funding for infill infrastructure gaps for GHG- reducing development?<br />Local officials need to make the case: explain connection between storm water, sewer lines, and urban centers; or police infrastructure and safe neighborhoods<br />
    16. 16. Putting Action Into Practice<br />CAPs and CEQA<br />
    17. 17. Elements of a Solid CAP<br />Baseline Inventory (municipal & community-wide)<br />Business-As-Usual Forecasts (2020 & built out)<br />Reduction Target (i.e. 15%)<br />Quantified Reduction Strategies<br />Energy, Water, Transportation, Solid Waste<br />Economic Analysis of Strategies<br />Monitoring & Reporting Mechanisms<br />
    18. 18. The CAP development process<br />1<br />3<br />4<br />5<br />6<br />2<br />Setting the right GHG reduction target<br />Setting the scene<br />Choosing and evaluating measures<br />Engaging the public<br />CAP production<br />CEQA<br />
    19. 19. Title? <br />Potential Measure<br />Technical Feasibility <br />Political Feasibility<br />Economic Feasibility<br />GHG Reduction<br />Cost<br />Local Context<br />PROPOSED Measure<br />
    20. 20. Where Climate Change informs CEQA<br />
    21. 21. How Does a CAP Streamline CEQA Review?<br />Identifies GHG emissions produced in an area (impact)<br />Specifies measures to reduce GHG emissions on a project-by-project basis to achieve emissions reduction target (mitigation)<br />Establishes monitoring program to track progress in meeting emissions reduction target (mitigation monitoring and reporting)<br />
    22. 22. How Does This Guidance Fit Into the Existing Model?<br />* Just kidding!<br />
    23. 23. Quantifying Mitigation Measures is Necessary & Critical!<br />Emission Reductions<br />Voluntary<br />Project-level<br />Reductions for regulatory compliance<br />Reductions for credit<br />Standardized Approaches and Methodology<br />Baseline methods<br />Limitations in the data use<br />Feasibility<br />
    24. 24. Sample Significance Threshold Analysis<br /><ul><li>Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s has the most detailed guidance:
    25. 25. Residential projects over the screening threshold of 56 (single family) or 78-91 (multifamily, depending on configuration) units will be presumed to produce enough GHGs to create a significant environmental impact
    26. 26. Projects over the screening threshold will have to analyze their GHG emissions and compare the result to the quantitative threshold of 1100 MT/year/project or 4.6 MT/person/year (6.6 MT for General Plans)
    27. 27. Projects over the quantitative threshold will have to show sufficient mitigation to get under the limit or else complete an EIR
    28. 28. This approach has been criticized by the development community as overly-ambitious and costly to implement</li></li></ul><li>Take Home Lessons<br /><ul><li>GHG evaluation should be a standard part of CEQA documents
    29. 29. Credible analytical methods exist
    30. 30. Feasible mitigation measures are available
    31. 31. Challenging issue continues to be thresholds of significance
    32. 32. Handle GHG programmatically in larger-scale plans and streamline later projects
    33. 33. Watch for conclusion of various threshold proposals</li></li></ul><li>Emerging Themes<br />Where are we going from here? <br />
    34. 34. Emerging Themes<br />Sustainable Economic Analysis<br />Decision makers at all levels of local and regional government are being challenged to respond to cost-benefit decisions that require additional metrics in the form of $/ton greenhouse gas (GHG) reduced<br /> <br />County of San Diego Climate Action Plan<br /><ul><li>Value in monetizing the direct cost savingsto residents and businesses over time
    35. 35. The cost savings ratio (CSR) is the direct program implementation costs compared to the projected cost savings for residents/businesses</li></li></ul><li>Emerging Themes<br />Adaptation Planning<br />Adaptation planning as the “next frontier” in addressing the ever-evolving nature of the climate as well as giving clients the tools to actively plan for environmental changes ranging from: <br />rising sea levels<br />increasing storm water collection<br />increasing heat waves and associated wildfires<br />food security<br />City of San Diego Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Plan<br /><ul><li>Undertake a risk assessment to clarify risk priorities and align with organizational risk portfolio
    36. 36. Identify strategic planning processes that need to be revised to incorporate climate resilience considerations</li></li></ul><li>What is Adaptation?<br />
    37. 37. Emerging Themes<br />City of San Diego CMAP public health co-benefits:<br /><ul><li>Increased physical activity through active transport
    38. 38. Increased opportunity for the formation of close social bonds through improved availability of and access to green-space social spaces where social events may occur
    39. 39. Decreased noise levels by switching to electric and hybrid cars</li></ul>Public Health <br />Impact Assessment<br />Through years of devising climate change solutions, we have come to appreciate that public health entails many of the criticalfactors such as local community food systems to be taken into consideration when analyzingmeasures to reduce GHG emissions<br />
    40. 40. Public Heath Impacts of Climate Change<br />Climate Change Effect<br />Examples of Human Health Risk<br />Heat Related Illness/Death<br />Worsening of Chronic Health Conditions<br />Increase in Extremes Heat Events<br />Increased Respiratory Illnesses and Seasonal Allergies<br />Increase Air Pollution<br />Injury/Death<br />Respiratory Illness<br />Waterborne Illness<br />Foodborne Illness<br />Displacement<br />Stress Related Disorders<br />Mental Health Impacts<br />Increase/Shift in Infectious Disease<br />Floods, Droughts, Wildfires, Storms,<br />Changes in Weather Patterns<br />
    41. 41. Public Heath Impacts of Climate Change<br />Climate Change Effect<br />Examples of Human Health Risk<br />Increased Hunger<br />Decreased Nutrition<br />Higher Food Prices and Food Scarcity<br />Injury/Death<br />Wastewater System Impacts<br />Displacement<br />Stress Related Disorders<br />Mental Health Impacts<br />Poisoning from Contaminated Shellfish<br />Sea Level Rise, Storm Surge, Longer Red Tides (toxic algae blooms in the ocean)<br />
    42. 42. Lessons Learned<br /><ul><li>Communication & presentation of materials is critical
    43. 43. Within the City, external stakeholders, public education
    44. 44. This is unlikeanything you’ve done before
    45. 45. Not legally mandated and no common standards
    46. 46. Do by trial and error</li></li></ul><li>Lessons Learned<br /><ul><li>View sustainability from a programmatic perspective
    47. 47. Make sure it is actually useful for Implementation </li></li></ul><li>Final Thoughts…<br />“If sustainability is the driver, it must drive our economy, our social compact, and our environmental stewardship... It means retrofitting suburbs, not building more of them with front porches (and SUVs parked out back), with a flower shop nearby but the grocery store several miles away. It also must mean TODs by right, the next “big thing” that responds to who we are becoming rather than who we were.”<br />W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, Chief Executive Officer, American Planning Association <br />
    48. 48. Where am I doing next?<br />Sustainable Vineyard and Winery Operations<br />Sustainable winegrowing is the growing and winemaking practices that are sensitive to the Environment, responsive to the needs and interests of society-at-large (social Equity), an are Economically feasible to implement and maintain. <br />
    49. 49. Questions <br />Chandra Krout<br />AICP, LEED AP (BD+C/O&M), CGBP, GPR<br />Principal<br />619.316.7645<br /><br /><br />