Sacramento County Climate Action Plan: ECOS Comments, Jan 2024

On January 31, 2024, ECOS submitted a letter to Todd Smith, Planning Director of Sacramento County Planning and Environmental Review, regarding the Notice of Preparation of a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report and Public Scoping Meeting for the Sacramento County Climate Action Plan.

ECOS offers two comments on the subject document, summarized below. Please see our letter for supporting information.

  1. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) and SEIR should be complete, that is, they should show how carbon neutrality will be achieved in the County in whatever year the County believes is realistic.
  2. We know that land use and transportation are the keys to GHG emissions reduction. Therefore, the CAP and SEIR should include alternatives or scenarios showing three levels and locations of development – mostly greenfield, some greenfield/some infill, and mostly infill – similar the SACOG’s three Pathways for our region that were discussed by the jurisdictions last summer.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Environmental Community Based Representation on Groundwater Sustainability Agency Boards

On January 29, 2024, ECOS submitted a letter to the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Boards in the Sacramento Area about Environmental Community Based Representation.

Below is an excerpt of the letter.

Groundwater management has taken a huge step forward with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and the formation of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSA) throughout California. The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) is very supportive of the Sacramento Area GSA efforts to develop and begin implementation of their Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSP) and feels the Region has done a good job of working through a multitude of technical issues. ECOS believes implementation of these GSPs requires close coordination between the GSAs, water purveyors, and the public as evidenced by our comments on the GSP annual reports to the State. One way coordination can be improved is through the inclusion of broader representation on GSA Boards of Directors.

Click here to read the letter.

Research Seminar: Impacts on Vehicle Miles Traveled from Land Use and Transportation Changes 2/27/2024

Join CARB for this research seminar which explores changes to land use and transportation in the downtown areas of Fresno, Sacramento, and Santa Monica. The project aimed to measure the effect of these changes on vehicle miles traveled.

Date: Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Webinar

Register here.

Background

Senate Bill 375 (2008) directed the California Air Resources Board to collaborate with the state’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to set regional targets for reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from passenger vehicles. Under this legislation California’s MPOs are required to adopt Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCSs) that lay out the strategies by which the region will achieve its GHG reduction targets, including strategies to reduce vehicle miles travel (VMT). Some strategies to reduce VMT include changes to the built environment, to both land development patterns and the transportation system, which reduce the need for driving. As one way to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies, this project used available data to examine changes in travel patterns associated with changes in land-use patterns and the transportation system in three case study downtown areas: Fresno, Sacramento, and Santa Monica. For more information and detailed findings, visit the project webpage or contact the Research Division. The project webpage will host the final report and seminar recording once they become available.

Biography

The Principal Investigator, Susan Handy, is a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California at Davis, where she teaches in the Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning major and in the Transportation Technology and Policy Program. She is the director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation, part of the federal university transportation centers program. Her research focuses on the relationships between transportation and land use, particularly the impact of land use on travel behavior, and on strategies for reducing automobile dependence. Her recent work includes projects for CARB and Caltrans on methods for evaluating the impacts on vehicle travel of proposed land development and transportation projects. Her new book, Shifting Gears: Toward a New Way of Thinking About Transportation, is published by MIT Press.

Hearing for City of Sacramento’s 2040 GP & Climate Action & Adaptation Plan 2/27/2024

The Sacramento City Council is expected to adopt its 2040 General Plan and Climate Action & Adaptation Plan and certify the Final Master Environmental Impact Report on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Please attend this important meeting.

ECOS/Partners testified on the Natomas Basin aspects of the General Plan Update to the City’s Planning and Design Commission on Thursday, January 25th, 2024. Watch our comments on the Natomas Basin aspects of the General Plan Update in the recorded video, here.

The 2040 General Plan

The General Plan is the City’s blueprint for how and where it will grow over the next 20 years. It contains policies that guide everything from the type of homes available, to jobs, transportation, environmental justice, public safety and much more. This major update has been focused on managing growth sustainably and equitably in ways that benefit the whole community, increasing opportunity and prosperity for all.

The Climate Action & Adaptation Plan

The Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP) establishes Sacramento’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target for 2030 and 2045, and positions Sacramento to reduce GHG emissions while adapting to projected climate change impacts.

More Info

To learn more about the Sacramento 2040 Project, including links to draft documents, please visit www.sac2040gpu.org.