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Guidance Document for
Addressing Air Quality Issues in
General Plans and Local Planning
 

 

Introduction

State law requires each city and county to prepare and regularly update a comprehensive, long-term plan – called a General Plan – which serves as the foundation for local planning and development. The General Plan must contain seven specific elements that focus on circulation, conservation, housing, land use, noise, open space and safety.

In Southern California, where we breathe some of the most unhealthful air in the nation, AQMD believes it is important that local governments also address air quality in their General Plans. AQMD worked with local government agencies to develop a draft Guidance Document for Addressing Air Quality Issues in General Plans and Local Planning (previously referred to as the Model Air Quality Element), which city and county governments may voluntarily use as a reference.

The Guidance Document development is an outgrowth of proposed enhancements to AQMD's 2002 environmental justice program. The environmental justice program is designed to protect the rights of the residents in the South Coast Basin to live and work in an environment of clean air, free of airborne health threats. One of the proposed program enhancements was the development of a model air quality element that considers the health risks to community residents associated with local government land use planning and decision-making. To that end, the Guidance Document was developed as a tool to assist local governments as they develop or update their General Plans and make other planning decisions.

The Guidance Document for Addressing Air Quality Issues in General Plans and Local Planning provides suggested policies that local governments can use in their General Plans or through local planning to prevent or reduce potential air pollution impacts and protect public health. The objective of the guidance document is to facilitate stronger collaboration between local governments and the AQMD to reduce community exposure to source-specific and cumulative air pollution impacts.

Guidance Document

The Guidance Document for Addressing Air Quality Issues in General Plans and Local Planning, adopted May 6, 2005 (Agenda item #35) by the AQMD Governing Board, is available for review. The Guidance Document for Addressing Air Quality Issues in General Plans and Local Planning will be presented to city and county governments within Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties for their voluntary consideration.

The Air Quality Issues in School Site Selection Guidance Document (PDF - 731k) is a reference for school districts within SCAQMD's jurisdiction.  It provides suggested policies that school districts can use to prevent or reduce potential air pollution impacts and protect the health of their students and staff.  The objective of the guidance document is to facilitate stronger collaboration between school districts and the SCAQMD to reduce exposure to source-specific air pollution impacts.

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