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June 15, 2010 > Air district thresholds of significance adopted

Air district thresholds of significance adopted

Submitted By Sigalle Michael

On June 2, 2010, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's Board of Directors unanimously adopted the proposed CEQA thresholds of significance which are included in the Air District's updated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. All the adopted CEQA thresholds of significance, except for the risk and hazards thresholds for new receptors, are effective June 2, 2010. The risk and hazards thresholds for new receptors are effective January 1, 2011. It is the Air District's policy that the adopted thresholds apply to projects for which a Notice of Preparation is published, or environmental analysis begins, on or after the applicable effective date.

The Air District's Board directed staff to track and regularly report implementation of the CEQA Guidelines to the Board of Directors. In addition, the Board directed staff to: continue to work with Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments to ensure implementation of the thresholds is consistent with the goals of SB 375; provide support and financial assistance to local governments for development and implementation of Community Risk Reduction Plans (CRRPs); implement screening processes to help local governments avoid preparing a full EIR (based on air quality impacts) for projects that meet the thresholds; and continue to develop standardized mitigation measures.

The Air District's CEQA Guidelines recommend air quality significance thresholds, analytical methodologies and mitigation measures for local agencies to use when preparing air quality impact analyses under CEQA. The updated CEQA Guidelines seek to better protect the health and well-being of Bay Area residents by addressing new health protective air quality standards, exposure to toxic air contaminants, and adverse effects from global climate change.

Please contact Sigalle Michael (smichael@baaqmd.gov) for questions on applying the CEQA Guidelines and newly adopted thresholds.

Visit the Air District's website to download the updated CEQA Guidelines and explore the various tools and resources available to assist local agencies in applying the Air District's adopted thresholds at http://tinyurl.com/2cttsma.

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