California Environmental Quality Act
The Imperial County CEQA Air Quality Handbook was last amended in 2007. Since then, many changes have occurred to land use development in Imperial County. With the introduction of non-traditional residential and commercial projects, all project proponents are strongly encouraged to call and discuss the changes that may impact how you model your projects air emissions. For example, all projects are required, except under very special circumstances, to utilize CalEEMod as the modeling tool for a project’s air emissions. Contact the Air District at (442) 265-1800 and ask for Monica Soucier.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a statute that can be traced back to the passage of the first federal environmental protection statute in 1969, the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. The essence of CEQA generally requires the identification of potential adverse environmental impacts resulting from proposed projects. Once identified, CEQA requires decision makers to impose feasible mitigation measures which either reduce or avoid the identified adverse environmental impacts.
The laws and rules governing the CEQA process are contained in the CEQA statute (Public Resources Code Section 21000 and following), the CEQA Guidelines (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 and following), published court decisions interpreting CEQA, and locally adopted CEQA procedures.
CEQA §15022 requires each public agency to adopt objectives, criteria and specific procedures, consistent with CEQA and the Guidelines for the proper evaluation of local projects and mitigation of identified impacts. In order to fulfill its requirements under CEQA, the Air District adopted its first CEQA Air Quality Handbook in February 2005. After two years of implementation, the Air District noted inconsistencies and deficiencies and began amending its CEQA Air Quality Handbook in 2006. The Air District adopted its amended CEQA Air Quality Handbook in November of 2007.
Whether a project is developing a Negative Declaration, a Mitigated Negative Declaration, Environmental Impact Report, an Environmental Assessment, or an Environmental Impact Statement, the AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS requires, at its core, the use of preliminary modeling to assess impacts, if any, to air. Since 2011, the Air District recommends the use of the California Emissions Estimator Model, or CalEEMod. Complimentary to CalEEMod is the 2022 updated CAPCOA (California Air Pollution Control Officers Association) handbook for analyzing greenhouse gas emission reductions, assessing climate vulnerabilities and advancing health and equity. Before commencing with any modeling, the Air District highly recommends that a project proponent contact the Air District to discuss any essential parameters.