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California Environmental Quality Act

The Imperial County CEQA Air Quality Handbook was last amended in 2007 - Since then many changes have occurred to the 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 (760) 482-4606 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 full fill its requirements under CEQA the Air District adopted its first CEQA Air Quality Handbook February 2005. After two years of implementation the Air District noted inconsistencies or 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 it's 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. Another document that would be beneficial to project proponents is CAPCOA's (California Air Pollution Control Officers Association) Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Measures. Before commencing with any modeling the Air District highly recommends that a project proponent contact the Air District to discuss any essential parameters.

Negative Declaration for the Imperial County 2013 State Implementation Plan for the 2006 24-Hr PM2.5 Moderate Nonattainment Area

On October 23, 2014 the Environmental Evaluation Committee reviewed the Initial Study for the IC 2013 SIP for the 2006 24-Hr-PM2.5 MNA for any significant environmental impact. The EEC concluded that a proposed Negative Declaration was appropriate.

For a copy of the Final Negative Declaration please click here.

Important Documents: