Preparation of an EIR is not a Prerequisite to Promulgating Thresholds of Significance Levels for GHG and Other Emissions
August 15, 2013
BY KEVIN POLONCARZ & MICHAEL BALSTER
On August 13, 2013, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District ruled that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s (“BAAQMD” or the “District”) promulgation of its thresholds of significance levels (“Thresholds”) for emissions of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”), fine particulate matter (“PM2.5”) and toxic air contaminants (“TACs”) did not require prior environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”). After several years of uncertainty (and pending further review by the California Supreme Court), lead agencies and proponents for projects constructed in the San Francisco Bay Area may now utilize the Thresholds—which include the District’s first-ever thresholds for GHG emissions—in completing their CEQA analysis.