Project Title: Interim Greenhouse Gas Emissions CEQA Thresholds
Case Number: 
Project Location: Countywide
Assigned Staff and Division:

Selena Evilsizor WhitneyLong Range Planning Division


Adopted Interim GHG Emissions Thresholds of Significance
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions thresholds of significance on January 26, 2021. Please go here to view the staff report and associated materials for the Board of Supervisors hearing. 

County Environmental Thresholds and Guidelines Manual Amendment
The Planning and Development Department (P&D) amended the County's Environmental Thresholds and Guidelines Manual in accordance with the Board's direction to staff on January 26, 2021. The amended guidelines are available here


P&D staff proposed interim GHG emissions thresholds of significance in 2020. The thresholds establish when an individual project creates significant cumulative impacts from GHG emissions under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The interim thresholds apply to new development and land use plans in unincorporated areas of the County.

The County adopted GHG emissions thresholds of significance for industrial stationary source projects in 2015. The new interim thresholds apply to all other types of land use projects and plans.

P&D staff worked with Ascent Environmental to develop the interim GHG emissions thresholds. Ascent's final Memorandum describing recommended interim thresholds is available  here

The County Planning Commission reviewed the proposed interim thresholds on November 4th and November 12th, 2021. The County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the interim thresholds to the County Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors adopted the interim thresholds on January 26, 2021.

The County is also updating its  Climate Action Plan and expects to complete the update in 2022. These interim GHG emissions thresholds of significance will be reviewed as part of the CAP update, and will become adopted as final thresholds upon adoption of the updated CAP.


Staff report and materials from Board of Supervisors' January 26, 2021, hearing

Staff report and materials from County Planning Commission November 4, 2020 hearing

Santa Barbara County Interim Greenhouse Gas Thresholds Justification Memorandum

September 8, 2020, public webinar presentation slides and video

Important Links

California Governor's Office of Planning and Research, "CEQA and Climate Change"

Santa Barbara County 2030 Climate Action Plan

Additional Information

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