• Air District Releases Manifesto for Public Comment

  • The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has released for public comment its draft 2017 Clean Air Plan [attached]. Ostensibly an update to address progress toward compliance with federal and state criteria air pollutant standards, the draft document sets out a sweeping agenda calling for massive changes in how Bay Area residents live, work, and eat. Biblical in length and tone, the draft contains myriad strictures on what Bay Area businesses and residents "must do" and "need to do" in order to achieve BAAQMD's vision of life by 2050. In its own words, the draft preaches a vision of "where we will live, how we will travel, what we will produce, and what we will consume...and actions that we, as a region, need to take in the near- to mid-term to embark on the transformation."

    The draft estimates that following its injunctions will yield a paradise-by-the Bay, along with over a quarter of a billion dollars each year in "co-benefits." It also promises to inspire similar action "that can be replicated throughout California, the nation and world." The draft calls for the Bay Area's refineries as part of the region's "decarbonization" to cease emitting GHG emissions and transition to producers of wind, solar, or other renewable activities, with failure consigning us to a chthonic future.

    With respect to land use, the draft calls for continuing to focus development in infill areas, and that "new development will need to offer safe and convenient access to jobs, shopping, and services by transit, bicycling, walking and transit."

    One of the the draft's proposed "Control Measures" calls for "Enhanced CEQA Review...by increasing the number of CEQA documents staff reviews..."

    The draft does not mention that California now has the highest effective poverty rate in the nation, with nearly 1 in 5 Californians in poverty when housing and tranpsortation costs are considered. Nor does it address the hundreds of thousands of middle-class households displaced to states with much higher per capita GHG emissions in search of affordable housing, transportation, and energy.

    The comment period on the draft is open until Feb. 28: cleanairplan@baaqmd.gov.