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Climate Change in California. Randell H. Iwasaki Chief Deputy Director California Department of Transportation. On the Cutting Edge. We're already developing comprehensive regulations to deal with Climate Change. We’re establishing precedents for national action.

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Climate change in california

Climate Change in California

Randell H. Iwasaki

Chief Deputy Director

California Department of Transportation

On the cutting edge
On the Cutting Edge

  • We're already developing comprehensive regulations to deal with Climate Change.

  • We’re establishing precedents for national action.

  • Because, well, we’re CALIFORNIA!


  • Some history…

  • At the planning level

  • Adaptation

  • Project level analyses

  • Departmental activities

California actions
California Actions

  • Executive Order S-3-05: Established GHG emission reduction targets and the Climate Action Team.

    • 1990 levels by 2020 (25% below business as usual)

    • 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

California actions1
California Actions

  • AB 32: The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006:

    • Establishing a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases.

    • 2020 goal of 1990 GHG emissions

  • Automobile emissions standards (at EPA…)

  • Low Carbon Fuel Standard

  • and other requirements…

Ab 32 climate change
AB 32 - Climate Change

Climate change planning process ab 32
Climate Change Planning Process (AB 32)

  • Early Actions &

  • Adopted Strategies

  • Low carbon fuel standard

  • Greater fuel efficiency

  • Departmental Action Plans

  • Many others…

  • - 72 MMT GHG (43%)

  • AB 32 (2006)

  • Restore GHGemissions to1990 level

  • -169 MMT GHG

  • Scoping Plan(2009)

  • TBD

  • Cap and trade…

  • - 97 MMT (57%)

30% of needed GHG

reduction is from


(50 – 60 MMT per year)

Caltrans Climate Action Plan (2006);

Transportation ghg reduction strategies

Percent of 63 MMT GHG Goal

Transportation GHGReduction Strategies

SB 375

*Land Use has greater impact

In achieving 2050 goals

Sb 375 steinberg

Sustainable Communities

Strategy by MPO


and infillProjects

CEQA exemption & $ incentives

SB 375 (Steinberg)

Regional GreenhouseGas Emissions Targets(mid-2010)

A conformity-like approach:

  • Regional greenhouse gas emissions targets from California Air Resources Board (CARB)

  • MPOs do approved traffic and emissions analysis, and develop a “Sustainable Communities Strategy” (SCS) as part of their Regional Transportation Plan

  • Land use and transportation projects that meet SCS goals SCS get a pass on climate change analysis.

    • Pre-existing FSTIPs are grandfathered

  • Signed by Governor Schwarzenegger 9/30/08

Climate adaptation
Climate Adaptation

  • Some permitting agencies are requiring project level review for sea level rise

    • Governor’s office is developing a sea level “standard”

  • State agencies are developing “Adaptation Strategies”. Due in early 2009.

  • See Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation, TRB Special Report 290.


One sea level rise scenarioshowing SFO under water…

Climate change at the project approval level
Climate Change at the Project Approval Level

  • The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) may require climate change impact analyses.

    • (CEQA is analogous to NEPA)

    • Some out of court settlements…

  • 2007 exemption for climate change analyses for Bond Projects

  • Proposed CEQA regulation by the beginning of 2010. (Drafts by Summer 2009.)

    • We’d like to see a programmatic approach rather than project-by-project

Sac 50 hov lane
Sac-50 HOV Lane

  • HOV / busway project into downtown Sacramento

  • Gap in CEQA exemption allowed us to be sued.

  • Judge ruled (July 2008):

    • Need to do more GHG emissions analysis. Can we make a “significance” call?

    • Need to work with planning partners to update transit analysis

  • Caltrans may appeal…

Project level issues
Project Level Issues:

  • Cumulative impacts – what’s the standard?

    • Some advocate NO increase in GHG

    • If so, do construction emissions preclude the use of CEs???

    • What is de minimis?

    • We are looking for a legislative fix or we must do a programmatic document.

    • Also commenting on CEQA update…

  • What is appropriate mitigation?

    • GHG emissions: Carbon sequestration? Increased efficiency?

    • Adaptation: design for new sea level. Hydrology?

Department direct emissions
Department Direct Emissions

  • We've joined CA Climate Registry to document our emissions and progress.

  • We are reducing our Carbon Footprint.

    • State requirement is at least LEED Silver for new buildings

    • Retrofitting old buildings to meet 20% energy reduction

    • Piloting a 50% increase in telecommuting

    • Employee transit use is subsidized

    • Reducing energy usage on our facilities

    • We are working on our fleet efficiency

  • Also reducing CO2 generated by cement

Summary what to expect
Summary: What to Expect?

  • Biggest change since NEPA (and CEQA)

  • Tiered implementation

    • Early actions

    • Changes in transportation and land use

    • Cap and Trade

  • Regional GHG emissions approach

  • Adaptation Plans

  • Project level analyses

    • GHG emissions and mitigation

    • Adaptation

  • Work on your direct Carbon Footprint

Climate change in california1

Climate Change in California

Randell H. Iwasaki

Chief Deputy Director

California Department of Transportation