Butte County’s General Plan 2030 Conservation and Open Space Element Action COS‐A1.1 requires the preparation of a Climate Action Plan (CAP). The CAP requirements under the General Plan would assist California in meeting the Greenhouse Gas reduction goals for 2020 that is a requirement of State law and embodied in the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). The Butte County General Plan’s policies and actions provide a comprehensive framework for reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions in the County. The CAP would ensure that Greenhouse Gas emissions in Butte County would not contribute considerably to cumulative Greenhouse Gas emissions and associated climate change effects. The preparation of a CAP is also identified under the General Plan’s Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as a mitigation for Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with the General Plan’s implementation.
On December 11, 2012, the Butte County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Pacific Municipal Consultants to assist the county in carrying out a process and developing a CAP to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. This process will take place over the next year and will involve community engagement and meetings with key groups. Two community open houses will be held to familiarize the public with the Climate Action Planning process and to accept public input. The CAP process will include a detailed inventory of current greenhouse gas emissions, an inventory of Butte County government actions, the preparation of a Climate Change Preparedness Plan, identification and evaluation of emission reduction measures, the development of a draft Climate Action Plan for review by the public, and public hearings at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. The process will also include the preparation of an EIR Addendum to address environmental review of the CAP under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
State CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.5 allows jurisdictions to analyze and mitigate the significant effects of Greenhouse Gasses by the adoption of a CAP for the reduction of GHG emissions. Once a CAP is adopted for Butte County, future individual development projects will only be required to prepare project‐specific environmental documents, which benefit from the analysis and mitigation measures provided in the CAP. The CAP will include will include tools and processes that future project applicants can use to streamline environmental review and project processing. This will ultimately provide for more efficient permit processing with the potential to save time and money for projects deemed to be consistent with the CAP.