SacMoves Coalition Comments to Sacramento Transportation Authority

December 12, 2019

The Sacramento Transportation Authority (STA) is working to put together a new transportation measure for our region. This month, they’re drafting the Transportation Expenditure Plan scheduled for the November 2020 ballot. ECOS has been a part of the SacMoves Coalition, which joined with SMART to develop a framework for the STA. Below is an excerpt from the document:

Sacramento County should have an innovative, seamless and diversified transportation network that offers a wide range of accessible, affordable and efficient mobility choices coupled with supportive land uses. The County’s transportation system should strengthen and diversify our economy, improve our air quality, and reduce carbon emissions and vehicle miles traveled by minimizing single occupancy vehicle trips, expanding and improving public transit and shared mobility services and providing safe access for bicyclists and pedestrians. All community members, particularly from marginalized communities, should have access to sustainable and affordable mobility options that facilitate positive community outcomes for public health and safety, livability and economic vitality. In short, virtually all Sacramento County residents should have the option of living and working within walking distance or a transit stop from everything they need.

Click here to view entire document.

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Jackson Township DEIR Comments

On October 31, 2019, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS), Habitat 2020, 350 Sacramento, and Sierra Club provided comments on the Jackson Township Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Below are some excerpts from the letter, followed by a link to the letter in full.

Agricultural Resources

There is insufficient mitigation for farmland lost in the Jackson Township Specific Plan DEIR [Draft Environmental Impact Report]. By converting all this farmland to urban/suburban uses, the GHG emissions will increase due to the increased number of motor vehicle trips (more vehicle miles traveled). Moreover, loss of agricultural resources will reduce the potential for carbon sequestration in the soil by application of compost or regenerative agriculture methods, in addition to the natural processes of plant growth and soil microbial action from farming. There needs to be better mitigation measures to ensure carbon soil sequestration occurs at least as much as it would if the agricultural resources were preserved.

Biological Resources

Use of the South Sacramento Habitat Conservation Plan (SSHCP) was offered as one of the options for dealing with California Endangered Species Act (CESA) and Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) impacts, and it was clearly stated that the hardline preserves identified in the SSHCP conservation strategy would be provided. Since the SSHCP now has its permits and is in the implementation phase, we are assuming that the Jackson Township will be affected by and compliant with the SSHCP.

Climate Change

We appreciate the opportunity to comment on Chapter 9, “Climate Change”, of the County’s Jackson Township Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Our greenhouse gas (GHG)-related comments are presented in the following seven sections. We first discuss the County’s past GHG-reduction commitments, because the DEIR:
I. does not accurately describe County climate planning;
II. uses inappropriate baseline data based on past planning;
III. applies inappropriate thresholds of significance; and
IV. is inconsistent with the County’s 2011 General Plan Update, associated Final Environmental Report (GP/FEIR), and Phase 1 CAP.
We also present,
V. other DEIR-related concerns.
We conclude:
VI. the DEIR is legally insufficient
VII. the County’s failure to provide promised mitigation is contrary to the General Plan.

Click here to read the letter in full
Attachment 1
Attachment 2
Attachment 3
Attachment 4
Attachment 5

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Becoming Arizona

By 2100, Sacramento is expected to feel much like Phoenix. What can we do now to prepare for this hotter future?

Over the remaining months of 2019, the UC Davis Science & Climate Department will examine the extreme heat Sacramento residents are expected to face in future decades. What can Phoenix teach us about dealing with it? As well as efforts needed to build socially just, climate-resilient communities for the changes that lie ahead.

While Sacramento is not likely to become a carbon copy of Phoenix, it will get hotter. The series highlights UC Davis scientists, community leaders, residents and health officials from Sacramento and Phoenix to look at the sorts of solutions we are and could be embracing now to be ready for it.

Click here to view the series website.

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