Galt CAP Requires EIR Analysis

December 4, 2019

The Environmental Council of Sacramento, Habitat 2020, the Sierra Club Sacramento Group and 350 Sacramento submitted a letter containing our follow up to comments on the City of Galt’s draft Climate Action Plan (CAP).

The City of Galt has prepared a draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) describing how it proposes to meet legal obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the City. Adoption of a CAP requires environmental analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City proposes to conduct abbreviated environmental review with a “Negative Declaration” (MND) instead of an “Environmental Impact Report” (EIR). ECOS and partner organizations assert that abbreviated review would not be legally acceptable, and further argue that conducting separate reviews for the CAP and two related road-building studies would be impermissible “piece-mealing” (analyzing environmental impacts of a single project as if it were several separate projects, to minimize apparent impacts).

Below are some of our key points.

  • Preparing an MND for the CAP would be inconsistent with CEQA requirements. Our earlier letter demonstrates with substantial evidence that the City’s draft CAP does not meet the requirements for a qualified GHG reduction plan or for mitigation enforceability, per CEQA Guidelines . . . We cited unsupported use of statewide targets, failure to meet the State’s 2050 target, non-enforceability of virtually all proposed mitigation measures, inadequate monitoring and update protocol, and lack of implementation funding.
  • The above would support a fair argument that adopting the draft CAP as a qualified GHG reduction plan which could streamline (i.e. diminish) CEQA review for future projects will likely have a significant effect on the environment. Pursuant to 14 CCR §15064 such a potential impact requires environmental analysis via an EIR.
  • The City’s grant agreement provides for concurrent development of three planning documents… [which] appear to be one whole project. The second two are clearly directly related. The CAP . . . would have, “a potential . . . reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment” by reducing or obviating future GHG analysis of the urban development made possible by extending Carillion Boulevard . . . analyzing the . . . potential environmental effects of these three plans together in one document would fall more properly within CEQA’s regulatory requirements.

Click here to read the letter.

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November 2019 was 2nd hottest on record for the planet

December 16, 2019
From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Moreover, both the season (September through November) and the year to date (January through November) were each the second hottest in recorded history, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The exceptional heat also was felt at both ends of the world: Sea ice coverage across the Arctic and Antarctic oceans fell to near-record lows in November.

Here’s more from NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report:

Climate by the numbers
November 2019

The average global land and ocean surface temperature for November 2019 was 1.66 degrees F (0.92 of a degree C) above the 20th-century average and the second-highest November temperature on record, just shy of November of 2015.

In fact, the world’s five hottest Novembers have all occurred since 2013.

The average global sea surface temperature in November was 1.39 degrees F (0.77 of a degree C) above average — the second-highest temperature for November on record, behind November 2015.

Click here to keep reading.

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Sacramento Declares a Climate Emergency

December 10, 2019

The Sacramento City Council adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration on December 10, 2019. A huge thank you to all who gathered signatures, wrote letters and emails, met with council people and the Mayor, contributed to the discussions about the language, spent hours strategizing at organizing meetings, and raised signs in the City Council meeting. 

Sacramento Climate Coalition, http://sacclimatecoalition.org/blognews/sacramento-declares-a-climate-emergency

“The Climate Emergency Declaration represents another major step forward for the City of Sacramento in taking urgent action to fight back against this accelerating global crisis,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I have heard our community, especially our young climate activists, who have spoken so eloquently to urge those of us in elected office to protect their future through deliberate action. We must work together to drive down emissions, transform our economy, and include everyone in a just transition.”

The Mayor’s Blog, https://engagesac.org/blog-civic-engagement/2019/12/10/8a1ekyr8su4q3vdyfpnjyau32dmul4

ECOS was a supporter of this resolution under the Sacramento Climate Coalition‘s suggestion and guidance.

Click here to read the full resolution.

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