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Resources for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures and Plans

Many public agencies are considering the adoption of greenhouse gas reduction measures and plans. These plans help agencies comply with developing legal requirements. They also benefit agencies by retaining local control, reducing legal risk, and saving energy and other costs. There are several resources that provide guidance, technical assistance and funding for the development of these plans.

The California Air Resource Board has produced “toolkits” for reducing greenhouse gas emissions which include reduction measures, analysis of the cost-benefit of reduction options, funding sources for programs and measures, and case studies. The local government toolkit is available by clicking here. These measures are to implement the AB 32 Scoping Plan program to reduce local government emissions. The financial information in these toolkits is especially important in these challenging economic times. The toolkit indentifies funding sources to get these programs started and shows the cost-savings that can be realized over time from implementing greenhouse gas reduction measures.

The Federal government also is providing financial resources for development of local climate action plans. Community block grant money is available as part of the Federal Economic Stimulus Program. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also recently announced a Local Climate and Energy Grant Program for climate change initiatives, including local climate action plans. The Program’s goal is to foster sustainable community action that generate cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions and improve the environmental, economic, public health, or social conditions in a community. Information about these grants, which range from $100,000 to $500,000, is available by clicking here.  The application deadline is July 22, 2009 with submission of a notice of intent to apply requested by July 1, 2009.

Meyers Nave has significant experience assisting local governments with greenhouse gas reduction measures and regulations. Our Climate Change and Green Practice Group has advised local governments on plans and project elements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions including: green buildings, energy conservation, water and waste reduction, vehicle trip reduction measures, alternative energy, and broad-based planning policies such as “smart growth” and transit-oriented development (TOD). Our attorneys have extensive experience in the development of local climate change programs and methods for funding these plans, including impact fees, assessments, and taxes. We also have advised on the use of these plans to streamline and reduce legal risk associated with the analysis of greenhouse gas impacts under the California Environmental Quality Act.

For more information on greenhouse gas reduction planning and regulations, please contact Tim Cremin.