At the Threshold: Bay Area Inches Closer to Adopting Strong Policy For Reducing Greenhouse Gases From New Development

On Wednesday, the board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District moved closer to approving a strong policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new development.

The policy establishes a threshold for the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would be considered significant under the California Environmental Quality Act. If a proposed project exceeded the threshold, it would need to adopt measures to lower its carbon footprint.

At Wednesday’s hearing the majority of the board signaled their support for the policy and agreed to spend the next few months educating cities and planning departments before final approval in April.

The Planning and Conservation League had joined with many other organizations in calling for the board to approve the policy, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Breathe California, Sierra Club, Greenbelt Alliance, American Lung Association, Communities for a Better Environment, Regional Asthma Management Prevention, Healthy 880 Communities, Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative, and Interfaith Power and Light. The office of Attorney General Jerry Brown also spoke in favor.

The Bay Area has been a leader in advancing policies to address the climate crisis. We hope the Air District continues this tradition of leadership by swiftly adopting the greenhouse gas threshold in April and resisting any efforts to weaken the final policy.