We are building a local climate movement to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and grow a local food system. Our vision is just and resilient communities in Ventura County.


350 Ventura County Calls for Strong Climate Action Plan

Sign up!

Sign up to get news about campaigns and programs in the county.

Join 350 Ventura County Climate Hub

Meetings 2nd Thursday of the Month at Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St. in Ventura. Meet and Greet 6:30pm Meeting 7pm

350 VC Climate Hub Policy Suggestions for Environmental Justice Chapter of the County General Plan

 

350 Ventura County Climate Hub Input for Policies

Environmental Justice Chapter

 

GOAL A: Develop an Environmental Justice Action Plan with targets for addressing impacts and needs as a framework for all planning decisions.

 

Policies:

  1. Mapping. Gather modeling and data to overlay on CalEnviroScreen to identify vulnerable neighborhoods.
  2. Outreach. Conduct outreach activities, including online and social media, community presentations, event participation, and other strategies to continue to engage the public and solicit input, suggestions, and participation.
  3. Collaboration. Provide opportunities for collaboration and an opportunity for the cities and the County to receive feedback on potential improvements or changes to the Environmental Justice Action Plan.
  4. Adaptive management. Environmental justice planning must integrate a monitoring program that is able to detect the needed information for strategy evaluation and incorporate feedback loops to link implementation and monitoring to the decision-making process that also takes advantage of new technologies and climate protection science to discover continuously higher-level, more comprehensive approaches to match the scale, variety and difficult predictability of climate hazards.

 

BACKGROUND:

What is CalEnviroScreen? https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen

  • A mapping tool that helps identify California communities that are most affected by many sources of pollution, and where people are often especially vulnerable to pollution’s effects.
  • Uses environmental, health, and socioeconomic information to produce scores for every census tract in the state.
  • Maps the scores so that different communities can be compared. An area with a high score is one that experiences a much higher pollution burden than areas with low scores.
  • Ranks communities based on data that are available from state and federal government sources.

GOAL B – Healthy and safe communities

 

Policies

 

  1. Foster a connected community
  2. Improve baseline resilience in vulnerable populations
  3. Support basic needs. Invest in social systems that help support basic needs for people, including food, water, shelter, transportation, and healthcare that are vulnerable to breakdown from climate-related crises, especially if they currently suffer from dwindling resources and financial support.
  4. Affordable non-toxic food. Food grown without toxic inputs should be readily accessible to everyone.
  5. Eliminate food deserts and develop food hubs. Develop and expand the model of the food hub to connect local regenerative farmers with their local communities.

 

GOAL C – Sustainable, climate-resilient economy

  1. Diversify agriculture Crop diversification can greatly increase the resilience of our current agricultural landscape. Polyculture can better assist in the suppression of pest outbreaks through natural biotic barriers that create an abundance of natural enemies. This will also help dampen transmission of pathogens, which have increased and will continue to worsen under current climate scenarios. Production systems such as agriculture are sensitive to climate variation. As climate change variability increases so will the value of resilience, requiring the adoption of diversified agricultural management strategies that are both scientific and policy based.
  2. Be ready. Seize opportunities to prepare and adapt

 

GOAL D: Manage buffer zones

  1. Buffer zones. Make room for water and exclude pollution by maintaining wider buffers
  2. Plan to avoid hazards. Align plans with hazards with a priority on disadvantaged communities

 

GOAL E: Promote ag preparedness and food security

  1. Farm carbon, water and diverse crops
  2. Subsidize regeneratively grown local food

 

GOAL F: Protect infrastructure and built systems

  1. Map long-term effects of sea-level rise and plan for equity so that low-come people of color are not disproportionately affected.
  2. Preparedness for businesses and organizations. Position your business or organization to recover from extreme events
  3. Anticipate rising price of carbon. Reduce carbon intensity of product supply chains.
  4. Look at essential systems in new ways to assure functionality during crises. Invest creatively in the most essential systems providing water, sanitation, drainage, communications, transportation, and energy supporting designs that rely less on large grids and are more self-sufficient to perform neighborhoods or communities are islanded as a result of a disaster.

 

GOAL G. Reduce emissions from consumption of goods and services

  1. Gather baseline data and target consumption-based emissions. Develop strategies to reduce local and global impacts of consumer choices.
  2. Educate consumers. Provide information towards economical, sustainable consumption.

 

GOAL H:  Increase emergency preparedness and prevention

  1. Risk reduction. Reduce forest flammability, improve biodiversity and water supply
  2. Preparedness. Prepare yourself for emergencies, learn CPR and first aid. Expand Community Emergency Response Team programs throughout Ventura County.
  3. Collaboration. Invest in radical collaboration for interagency preparedness
  4. Reserve fund for people displaced by disasters. Seek to create a regional fund for disaster response that can provide assistance to local government agencies to address urgent disaster impacts, help cover relocation costs of those displaced by disasters and climate change effects, etc.

 

GOAL I: Monitor climate and its effects

  1. Reality check. Monitor real-time conditions to refine climate change forecasts with a priority on the effects on disadvantaged and other vulnerable communities

 

PROCESS

Gather baselines and create an Environmental Justice Plan

Align investments with values, coordinate incentives and funding streams

Measure progress over time

 

JUSTIFICATION

Land use decisions should not pose environmental hazards to disadvantaged populations. Moreover, the county should be proactive in plans and strategies to address

1) historic patterns of inequity, especially exposure to pollution, particularly around power plants, oil and gas operations, and farms, and

2) acute situations of inequity, such as food deserts and lack of housing and transportation.

 

Events

350 VC Climate Hub Policy Suggestions – Emissions Reduction Section of Climate Action Plan

350 Ventura County Climate Hub Input for Policy

Emissions Reduction Section of Climate Chapter

 

GOAL A – Increase building energy efficiency xxx,xxx  MT CO2/yr

POLICIES

  1. Enforce Title 24 Standards for Commercial and Residential Buildings for new and remodeled buildings to conserve energy and water. xx,xxx MT CO2/yr
  2. Expand the Green Building Ordinance Energy Code.  Require new residential and nonresidential Energy Code development to exceed CALGreen Tier 1 voluntary standards by complying with CALGreen Tier 2 standards.
  3. Expand express permitting. Expand the incentives for business to expedite permitting for energy and water efficient projects
  4. Promote Financing Programs for Energy Efficiency Expand programs to promote energy efficiency in existing residential buildings and commercial buildings, and remove barriers for energy efficiency improvements to include accelerating participation in on-bill repayment programs like emPower and Demand Response agreements for larger loads.
  5. Outdoor lighting. Adopt outdoor lighting standards in the zoning ordinance to reduce electricity consumption above and beyond the requirements of AB 1109 including motion-sensitive street lighting and lowest needed specification of intensity and luminance to conserve energy.
  6. Shade-tree planting. Expand on current urban tree-planting policies and programs to establish a shade-tree planting goal for each jurisdiction.
  7. Cogeneration facilities. Encourage cogeneration facilities to supply a certain amount of energy in new commercial and industrial facilities greater than 100,000 square feet.

 Image result for energy smart home

PROGRAMS

Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan

Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance

Water Conservation Ordinance

Outdoor Landscaping Ordinance

GOAL B – Increase renewable energy use  xx,xxx MT CO2/yr – sum of targets to be set below

 

POLICIES

  1. Solar in New Residential Buildings. Implement solar energy installation requirements for new residential buildings to increase renewable energy generation.
  2. Solar in Existing Residential Buildings. Incentivize solar energy installation for existing residential buildings to increase renewable energy generation.
  3. Solar in New Nonresidential Developments Implement solar energy installation requirements for new nonresidential development to increase renewable energy generation.
  4. Solar in Existing Nonresidential Developments Incentivize solar energy installation for existing nonresidential development to increase renewable energy generation.
  5. Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Residential Buildings. Provide weatherization and other energy efficiency upgrades for low and moderate income households through Community Development Block Grant funding to reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent in 20 percent of housing units by 2025 and by 15% in 50 percent of housing units by 2035.
  6. Energy Efficiency Upgrades in Nonresidential Developments. Retrofit municipal facilities to reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent by 2025 and by  25% by 2035.

 

GOAL C – Increase local renewable energy generation within an integrated resource plan anticipating total electrification of the transportation system xxx,xxx  MT CO2/yr

POLICIES

  1. Community Choice Energy. Participate and advocate at the local, regional and state level for community choice aggregation program setting a goal for all ratepayers of 75% renewable energy by 2025 and 100% renewable energy by 2033.        
  2. Promote Distributed Energy Resources. Support accelerated development of local renewable energy generation (e.g., solar and  wind) with battery storage through a higher-priced rate tier in a community choice aggregation program to develop new Distributed Energy Resources of 500 MW by 2025 and 95% of load by 2035.
  3. Community Microgrids. Create an engineering analysis, advocate and participate in the building of community microgrids in all areas of the county where there is a favorable mix of load balancing; availability of rooftops; parking lots and brownfield sites for cost-effective solar and wind generation; and the need for a community facility with islanding capacity.
  4. Offshore Wind and Wave Energy. Pursue appropriate opportunities for offshore wind and wave energy generation.

 

GOAL D:  Switch equipment from fossil fuel to electricity –  x,xxx MT CO2/yr

 

POLICIES

  1. Convert building equipment to electricity. Replace residential water and gas space heating equipment with high efficiency electric equipment to achieve 50% conversion of total use by 2025 and 100% of use by 2035.

 

Image result for reduce emissions

GOAL E: Reduce emissions from vehicles by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 through focused growth and other programs x,xxx MT CO2/yr; and, be prepared to increase this reduction if it is found to be required to support climate stabilization at a livable level.

 

POLICIES

  1. Baseline inventory must follow 2014 Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). The GPC provides scope 1,2 and 3 with standard methodology for reporting emissions by gas, scope, sector and subsector, and to add up emissions using the two requisite, distinct but complementary, approaches.
  2. Regional Transportation Plan must plan to reduce emissions and Vehicle Miles Traveled. Update the Ventura County Regional Comprehensive Transportation Plan to baseline emissions and Vehicle Miles Traveled by gas, scope, sector and subsector with reduction targets to total at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and up to 80 percent below 1990 level if this is found to be necessary to support stabilizing the climate at a livable level.
  3. Regional Transportation Plan must plan for zero emissions vehicles. Update the plan to forecast need and strategies to support zero emissions vehicle infrastructure.
  4. Regional Transportation Plan must minimize segmented wildlife corridors and impermeable surfaces. Update the plan to address systemic impacts that fragment wildlife corridors and lead to storm water runoff.
  5. Housing Element Report and Regional Transportation Plan must match Climate Action Plan targets for Vehicle Miles Traveled.  A target for reduction of Vehicle Miles Traveled will be set that includes the per cent reduction resulting from infill development next to transit corridors, transit hubs and higher density community cores by numbers of units of legally defined extremely low, very low and low income housing to meet specified needs by specified funding sources or offset by specified savings
  6. Housing density. Developments up to 45 units per acre may be permitted if, for example, 80 percent of the units are rented to moderate, low or very low-income households, and if sufficient services and facilities are provided, including access to open space and minimization of heat island effects.
  7. Fleet efficiency. Define enforceable measures to ensure cars and light-duty trucks achieve necessary efficiency to reduce emissions.  xxx,xxx MT CO2/yr
  8. Reduce emissions from freight. An Intermodel Freight Plan will specify the targets for reductions of emissions and Vehicle Miles Traveled for the freight sector that may include a rail spur at the Port of Hueneme and other short-line freight railroads and  clean energy technologies for moving freight other than by truck.
  9. Road use fees. Support a statewide technology system to collect and distribute fees for the use of roads, parking, and transit that is fair, convenient and protects user privacy and the interests of low-income users.
  10. Plan for no new freeway expansion. Transportation planning will subordinate freeway expansion projects by putting top priority on projects and programs that reduce per capita vehicle use and vehicle miles traveled and that will result in more jobs and more economic growth.
  11. Mixed use development along transit corridors: Identify specific areas for transit-oriented, community centered, mixed use development focused on identified existing and planned transit corridors. x,xxx MT CO2/yr
  12. Increase transit accessibility:  Encourage new residential projects consisting of 25 units or more to be located within 0.5 mile of a transit node, shuttle service, or bus route with regularly scheduled daily service. x,xxx MT CO2/yr
  13. Bus-only lanes. Create dedicated bus-only lanes on existing roads where traffic volume is below design capacity to improve transit service.
  14. Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program Implement support for voluntary TDM measures for employers with 49 employees or fewer, voluntary TDM measures for larger employers that are in excess of the TRO, and requirements for TDM measures in larger new residential projects.
  15. Carpool incentives and ride-sharing program. Promote countywide ride-sharing program and encourage participation by local employers through their TDM programs.
  16. Car-sharing systems. Make agreements with neighborhood-accessible Car Sharing systems.
  17. Guaranteed ride home. Promote a  guaranteed ride-home program to provide a free carshare, shuttle, or taxi ride home to employees in case of an emergency.
  18. Support bicycle/pedestrian measures. Create buffered bike lanes and protected cycle tracks wherever possible in order to buffer bicycle users and pedestrians from car traffic, and subsidize League-of-American-Bicyclist-Certified Instruction (LCI) which teaches on-road cycling skills with both on-road and written class components including on-road and written tests, required to pass the course.
  19. Traffic calming. Implement traffic calming measures in downtown cores, accident hot-spot locations, near schools and libraries, etc.
  20. High-speed internet. Ensure that all parts of the county have access to high-speed internet to support virtual work and meeting options.
  21. Shared office and business incubator space. Facilitate permitting for shared office and business incubator space along transportation corridors and in higher density community developments.

PROGRAMS

Community Car Club How to Set up a Community Car Club and Car Clubs.

JUSTIFICATIONS

The mandate for a target of 40 percent reduction of emissions from vehicles by 2030 is believed to be inadequate to stabilize the climate. This target is the interim per executive order of Governor Brown intended to help California lower emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by the year 2050, a goal set by Governor Jerry Brown’s predecessor, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and which may or may not be climate stabilizing.

Does this policy if applied globally make the outcome of a stable climate possible? It is a mistake to go along with state mandates based on unstated assumptions as if we believe that policy will achieve climate stabilization. CEQA requires that the decision makers know the environmental outcome associated with their decision. What is required is a holistic assessment of the outcomes of all of the policies that include emissions from fixed sources and greenhouse gases from livestock and landfills, as well as the achievements of carbon sequestration. The type of net analysis done by Project Drawdown informs the best mix of responsible policies.

2014 Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC) (GPC) is a framework for transportation emissions relying on standard references, such as the ICLEI Global Protocol for Communities (MGS 1.0). It expands the scope of the assessment to include so-called “Scope 3” marine vessel and aviation emissions and should include emissions from end use distribution of goods produced in the county. The emissions accounting using the CPC framework should reflect the following scopes:
Scope 1: Emissions from transportation occurring in the county including all GHG emissions from the transport of people and freight occurring within the city boundary.
Scope 2: Emissions from grid-supplied electricity used in the city for transportation including all GHG emissions from the generation of grid-supplied electricity used for electric-powered vehicles. The amount of electricity used should be assessed at the point of consumption within the city boundary.
Scope 3: Emissions from the portion of transboundary journeys occurring outside the city, and transmission and distribution losses from grid-supplied energy from electric vehicle use. This includes the out-of- county portion of all transboundary GHG emissions from trips that either originate or terminate within the county boundaries. This may include the out-of-county portion of on-road transit that burns fuel,  any out-of-county stops for an electric railway,  distribution of goods produced in the county by air or sea. If the county is the point of origin, half of the emissions should be attributed to the county and half to the destination point. The attribution is reversed when the county is the destination point.

Reducing per capita driving. A minimum 30 percent reduction is most likely needed in per-capita driving of by 2030, with respect to 2005. Focusing growth in higher densities with public transit and support for bicycle/pedestrian mobility will make it possible for more people to live closer to where they work and/or shop and travel.

Bicycle Lane Design Guidance – National Association of City Transportation Officials

One-Way Protected Cycle Tracks

Buffered Bike Lanes

 

GOAL F: Help reduce emissions from vehicles by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 by implementing improved car parking systems  – x,xxx MT CO2/yr

Image result for energy efficient parking policies

POLICIES

  1. Redesign car-parking systems. Phase out bundled-benefit and bundled-cost car parking systems with shared, value-priced off-street parking systems, such as a Dividend Account Parking (DAP) System, that makes costs transparent, makes parking use optional, and reduces single-occupancy vehicle travel.
  2. Demonstrate and promote a Dividend Account Parking (DAP) System. Engage 80 percent of county employees by 2025 to open a parking account in a county DAP system while encouraging all large employers to establish similar systems and eventually phasing the system into all on-street and off-street car-parking ordinances.
  3. Preferential vehicle parking. Implement and promote prioritized parking for EVs, carpools, and hybrids.
  4. Reduce parking space requirements. Change minimums to maximums to reduce parking spaces at single-family residences, multi-family residences, and commercial and mixed-use properties while also planning for Car Sharing and other programs that can take the place of much of the existing multiple cars per household.

 

PROGRAM

Dividend-Account Parking (DAP) system: DAP system (a) recognizes cars that have been enrolled in an account associated with the building or transit center and allows them to park, (b) recognizes cars that have entered the parking area that are not associated with an account and takes enforcement action including license reading and law enforcement notification of trespassing; (c) keeps track of minutes per month parked for each car in the DAP system, (d) computes the monthly dividend (car-parking earnings) for each account, based on either money spent (on rent or buying items being sold at the building) or time spent on the premises associated with the car parking, depending on the use(s) of the building associated with the parking; mails monthly statements showing charges and dividends, either pays out or collects money from each participant, and keeps track of space use.

 

JUSTIFICATION

Parking requirements can be reduced where there is access to transit, walkable neighborhoods with adequate local employment and services, and/or available car sharing systems are capable of carrying the local transportation demand.

 

Eliminating both bundled-benefit and bundled-cost, car-parking systems: Parking policies that bundle the cost of parking with costs, including rent, or employment compensation or where free parking is used as an inducement to visit destinations, encourage single-occupancy vehicle travel. Dividend Account Parking (DAP) creates rewards for people who do not drive their car. Employers can pay an “add-in” or “must drive bonus” payment, computed so that employees that drive every day will break even (lose no money). The system will result in improved economic fairness for employees. By the county demonstrating the program, it can be studied and adopted by other large employers. This system would become mandatory as people become familiar with it.

 

GOAL G:   Encourage a shift toward low-carbon fuels in vehicles and equipment x,xxx MT CO2/yr

POLICIES

  1. Electric vehicle (EV) charging station program. Develop and implement a plan for local charging stations.
  2. Electrify trucking and transit.  Increase the number of zero emissions vehicles in the county fleet and support projects toward electrification of all trucking, transit, and public service systems, including waste collection trucks to 65 percent by 2025 and 90 percent by 2040.
  3. Electrify construction equipment.  Incentivize replacement of fossil fuel construction equipment with alternatively fueled or electric equipment.
  4. Reduce fossil fuel use in equipment through efficiency or fuel switching. Provide incentives and financing options for fuel switching to more efficient equipment and support equipment conversion to alternative fuels with low GHG intensity

 

GOAL G:   Reduce idling

POLICIES

  1. Idling Ordinance for Passenger Vehicles. Limit idling of all vehicles to 2 minutes, except as necessary for the loading or unloading of cargo within a period not to exceed 30 minutes.
  2. Idling Ordinance for Construction Equipment. Limit idling of all construction equipment to 3 minutes for all heavy-duty construction equipment.

 

GOAL H:  Increase solid waste diversion

POLICIES

  1. Construction and demolition reuse and recycling ordinance.  Establish a baseline and increase diversion of construction and demolition waste by 3 percent per year.
  2. Materials recovery. Provide discounted rates for builders to meet CALGreen building requirements and national LEED standards that require separate dumpsters for clean loads of source separated concrete, wood, metal, soil, etc. without contamination with asbestos, fiberglass insulation, large quantities of Romex cable or wire, ice plant, and poison oak.
  3. Tracking waste diversion. Provide oversight of incoming material according to acceptance criteria for soil, green waste, concrete and asphalt, and contaminated soil and liquid waste.
  4. Thrift shop for recycled goods. Research feasibility of providing a thrift shop at a recycling center to incentivize visits to drop off and ensure safe disposal of hazardous materials and generate revenue for the recycling center, such as the Last Chance Mercantile at the Monterey Regional Waste Management District.
  5. CRV redemption and recycling. Provide a center for CRV redemption and for free drop-off of materials for recycling.
  6. E-Waste. Provide free drop-off for resale at thrift shop outlet or for e-waste and ensure that e-waste recyclers comply with the best environmental practices for e-waste recycling, material processing, and full compliance with Basel Action Network e-waste recycling standards.
  7. Appliances containing refrigerant.  Appliances with and without refrigerant will be received at no charge to ensure proper disposal after capture of refrigerant gases for reuse or proper disposal.
  8. Prevent leaks and failure to capture refrigerants. Conduct on-going and varied methods of outreach to encourage prevention of leaks of refrigerant gases and replacement of old equipment with new non-polluting equipment.
  9. Inventory and set targets and strategies. Establish reporting by refrigeration service people and owners of large refrigeration equipment to achieve the goal to prevent leaks and capture refrigerant at end of life disposal of refrigeration equipment.
  10. Batteries. Provide free drop-off of batteries so that strategic metals can be recycled.
  11.  Mattresses. Provide drop-off at fees set by the state for mattresses for sterilizing and direct reuse or recycling of 80 percent of materials.
  12. Green waste composting. Compost green waste to produce 100% certified organic product and other landscape products such as wood chips for sale for gardens and local farms. Compost will be annually approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute.
  13. Organic waste recycling. Ensure that businesses that generate 4 cubic yards or more of organic waste or commercial solid waste per week comply with AB 1826 by arranging for organic waste recycling services.
  14. School compost programs. Provide resources for teachers and staff to demonstrate composting at schools.

PROGRAMS

Last Chance Mercantile – a thrift shop run by the Monterey Regional Waste Management District

JUSTIFICATION

Landfill methane comes from the large amount of organic matter people put in the trash, including food scraps, yard waste, wood, and paper. These produce biogas, a blend of greenhouse gases. These wastes should be recycled, composted, or digested, but, until then, perforated tubes are put in landfills to collect gas that can be flared, but preferably compressed and purified for fuel which reduces reduces emissions and saves money. From Drawdown-Landfill Methane.

Refrigerators and air conditioners contain chemical refrigerants called HFCs and HCFCs that have 1,000 to 9,000 times greater atmospheric warming effect than carbon dioxide.The Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol is a multinational treaty  to phase out HFCs in 2019 to 2028 by banning them in new refrigeration equipment. California did that in March 2018. The gradual ban on HFC in new equipment will reduce global warming by nearly one degree Fahrenheit. However 90 percent of refrigerant emissions are from existing equipment that leaks or is not disposed of safely. Local policy can promote careful removal, storage, reuse or transformation of HFCs. The cost to prevent leaks and destroy HFCs is very high, but Project Drawdown concluded that this is the single biggest solution for addressing global warming. From Drawdown-Refrigerant Management

 

GOAL I: Reduce water consumption

For recommended policies, see our input to the Water Chapter – Goal C: Develop local water supplies, including groundwater recharge and recycled water, in a countywide sustainability master plan with resource strategies to maximize local water resources that will limit use of imported water to ten percent of total water use.

JUSTIFICATION

Energy currently used to clean and transport water and to handle wastewater needs to be reduced.

 

GOAL J:   Increase recycled water and greywater use

For recommended policies, see our input to the Water Chapter – Goal D: Increase recycled water and greywater use.

JUSTIFICATION

Recycled water and greywater can be applied to ecosystem restoration projects that will promote carbon sequestration.  Additional benefits from these water sources can also help protect and expand forests, grasslands, wetlands, regenerative farms and urban greening to sequester carbon and counteract heat island effects to sequester carbon.

Image result for increase gray water use

GOAL K:   Increase use of renewable energy in water and wastewater systems

POLICIES

  1. Use 100% renewable energy for 50 percent of all water production and/or conveyance by 2025 and by 100% by 2030.
  2. Encourage top priority on installation of solar energy arrays at all water and wastewater plants

 

GOAL L:   Reduce emissions from livestock [not sure if this is significant enough in this county to include]

POLICIES

  1. Livestock manure management. Encourage voluntary manure management techniques that reduce emissions from the decomposition of manure at livestock operations
  2. Reduce emissions from enteric fermentation. Encourage livestock operations to explore ways to reduce GHG emissions from enteric fermentation.

 

JUSTIFICATION

Strategies to reduce emissions from livestock should also make available compost needed to help sequester carbon, preserve soil fertility, conserve water, reduce energy use, and maximize agricultural profitability.

 

GOAL M: Reduce emissions from fertilizer use by [1800 MT CO2/yr from Sonoma Co goal]

 

POLICIES

  1. Inventory and set targets. Survey the use of artificial nitrogen fertilizer on major crops and set a target to reduce fossil fuel-based fertilizer use by 20%.
  2. Optimize fertilizer use.  Encourage voluntary agricultural practices that reduce or eliminate the need for fertilizer (especially synthetic fertilizer).
  3. Compost manure. Organize a program to maximize composting of manure.
  4. Drip Irrigation and Subsurface Irrigation. Encourage participation in federal and state programs that subsidize drip and subsurface irrigation systems to replace overhead irrigation that is associated with greater release of powerful GHG nitrous oxide from soils.
  5. Promote regenerative agriculture. Encourage development of regenerative agriculture certification programs that reduce GHG emissions and/or enhance carbon stocks or increase sequestration

 

PROGRAMS

Healthy Soils Initiative

Sustainable Agriculture Certification Program

Sustainable Manure Composting Program

 

JUSTIFICATION:

Artificial nitrogen fertilizers are a source of GHG emissions from two sources: the CO2 from fossil energy sources (mainly natural gas) as feedstock for fertilizer production and fuel in ammonia synthesis. N2O is also emitted from nitric acid production by microbes in soil under conditions of excess fertilizer and surplus surface irrigation and is the largest source of nitrous oxide emissions in Ventura County..

Voluntary strategies are more likely to achieve reductions because the complexity of various strategies in various crops and farms makes tracking impossible.

Work with growers to provide incentives for organic fertilizers as an alternative. Create an outreach program to help growers optimize nitrogen application rates, decrease overall fertilizer inputs and cost, maintain current crop yields, and reduce emissions of nitrous oxide.

 

GOAL O: Tax methane leakage at the social cost of $4700 per ton for investments in local development of carbon sinks.

 

POLICIES

  1. Tax methane leakage. All those legally responsible for releasing more than 40 pounds of uncaptured, unburnt methane (CH4) emissions per year will pay an annual fee of $4700 on each ton of such methane emission for which they are responsible which is the social and environmental cost of atmospheric release per Drew T. Shindell, Climatic Change (2015) 130:313–326, DOI 10.1007/s10584-015-1343-0, page 319.
  2. Invest methane tax revenues in programs that restore small water cycles to help CO2 drawdown. Manage a Drawdown Program and Trust Fund to support local restoration of small water cycles, forest and wetlands protection and expansion, regenerative agriculture, and research and demonstration of carbon sink technologies, including silvopasture, tree intercropping, multi-strata agroforestry.
  3. Continue implementing systems to recover methane at landfills. Investigate means to install methane recovery systems at all landfills and sewage treatment plants, where appropriate.

 

PROGRAMS

Ventura County Drawdown Trust Fund for distribution of revenues from a methane tax to fund those programs show to have the greatest potential to reduce emissions.

 

JUSTIFICATION

Methane is 34x more potent of a greenhouse gas over a 100-year period according the latest IPCC report, not 25x which is the multiplier used by CA Air Resources Board. (Over a 20 year interval is 85 times more potent as an atmospheric heat trapper than carbon dioxide.)

 

Taxing methane leakage across the oil and gas industry presents a unique opportunity due to its multiple economic and climate benefits.  The readily available technology also means that emitters can avoid the tax by capturing methane for useful fuel.

 

Flaring represents blatant economic waste, especially while extreme methods are used elsewhere to extract natural gas. This waste continued to increase between 2009 and 2015; federal and Indian onshore wells vented or flared enough gas to serve more than six million households for a year. Funding from a methane tax is needed to support expansion of carbon sinks.

 

One of the bases of adequacy relied on in a Climate Action Plan and Environmental Impact Report is identified sources of committed funding, as well as enforceable regulations and clarity of the terms ensuring implementation. Because the data about inventories is incomplete for setting targets to achieve emissions reductions, funding from fees or taxes to pollute can help ensure that goals that are now necessarily vague and not measurable can be nailed down and achieved.

 

GOAL P: Reduce emissions by lowering the threshold on stationary sources and requiring Best Available Technology for smaller projects.

 

POLICIES

  1. Net zero new emissions. Require mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources to a net of zero new emissions.
  2. Best Available Technology for smaller projects.Smaller projects that don’t trigger the adopted threshold should be required to use Best Available Technology.

 

JUSTIFICATION

The threshold of significance for GHG emissions for stationary must be zero, because it will go farthest to reduce emissions. This threshold will not force projects into environmental review solely on the basis of projected GHG emissions because there are ample opportunities to fully mitigate GHG emissions. It is feasible for a project proponent to mitigate their GHG emissions to a net of zero new emissions.

GOAL Q: Require environmental impact review for permits for oil and gas wells, injection wells and pipelines pending completion of the Renewal Plan and regulatory overhaul by CA Department of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).

 

POLICIES

  1. Mechanical integrity tests Applying new technological advancements and better understanding of the subsurface, DOGGR will provide data in greater detail for all extraction and underground injection control (UIC) projects and connected pipelines that are identified as necessary during DOGGER’s Renewal Plan to ensure appropriate protection of groundwater sources, prevention of air air pollution and spills, and seismic retrofit.
  2. Additional conditions or reporting requirements. If new conditions or reporting requirements are required, the county will wait for newly issued Project Approval Letters from DOGGR before approving permits for surface oil, gas and wastewater injection operations.

 

GOAL R: Obtain exemption, or shut-in injection wells in non-exempt aquifers and stop injecting reclaimable wastewater

 

POLICIES

  1. Water with <10,000 mg/L TDS to be reclaimed, not injected. Due to projected water scarcity and rapid scaling of renewable energy technology for desalinization, water with <10,000 mg/L TDS and will be reclaimed for open space infiltration or agricultural use.
  2. Water with >10,000 mg/L TDS to be injected only onto aquifer exempted enhanced oil recovery (EOR) oil-containing wells. Operators must provide the state with sufficient documentation to support an aquifer exemption proposal in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act at which time county will approve applications.

 

GOALS: Protect the public and the environment from potential negative impacts from oil and gas activities including from floods, fires and earthquakes.

 

POLICIES

  1. DOGGR review of all rulemaking must be completed. No approval of new applications will be made pending completion of Phase 1 and 2 Rulemakings for  Action Item 1.3: “Review / Revise Existing Regulatory Standards” for the 2017 update to the DOGGR Renewal Plan.
  2. Under penalty of perjury. Drilling permit applications, reviews and appeals under penalty of perjury.
  3. Oilfield shut In procedures. Disaster preparedness plans will be in place and annual training documented to protect employee and public health and safety.
  4. Well abandonment plan. All Conditional Use Permits for oil and gas operations including those with no expiration date will have a well abandonment plan including land remediation with a timeline and specified indicators and bond amounts commensurate with costs.

 

GOAL T: New policy concerning antiquated drilling permits.

 

POLICIES

 

  1. New policy covering all Conditional Use Permits (CUPs). Rescind the current Antiquated CUP Policy and replace with policy that treats all ordinances as applicable to oil and gas CUPs unless the permittee has affirmatively shown a vested right specific to the proposed development.
  2. Develop a Process for Claiming Vested Rights The County should establish a specific and detailed process whereby oil companies can claim a vested right under a specific CUP, on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Apply Current Ordinance Requirements to All Drilling and Redrilling Proposals The County should immediately begin applying all applicable ordinances to all drilling and redrilling proposals.
  4. Develop a Schedule for CEQA analysis  Once the County begins applying applicable ordinances and treating well drilling applications as discretionary actions, other legal requirements including CEQA will also apply.  As the County has generally not conducted CEQA for oil and gas operations, it will likely need to prepare several site specific Environmental Impact Reports.  In order to process these analyses in a comprehensive and efficient manner, the County should develop a schedule for oil and gas CEQA analysis.
  5. Consult with Appropriate State and Federal Agencies to Ensure Compliance with Modern Environmental Laws  The County’s longstanding failure to oversee oil operations within boundaries of antiquated CUPs has also circumvented compliance with other state and federal laws.  The County should consult with appropriate agencies to ensure that oil operations are in legal compliance with environmental laws.  These consultations include, but are not limited to: 1) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (federal Endangered Species Act); 2) California Department of Fish and Wildlife (state wildlife and stream protection laws); 3) California Coastal Commission (California Coastal Act); and 4) State Water Resources Control Board, and Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Clean Water Act and state water quality laws).

 

GOAL U: Minimize use of potable and reclaimable water for oil and gas production and manage stormwater in oilfields for carbon sequestration

 

POLICIES

  1. Potable and potentially reclaimable water. No potable water or potentially reclaimable water, such as with <10,000 mg/L TDS, will be used for oil and gas operations.
  2. Notify people that depend on private water wells.  Well owners and residents that rely on private water wells will be notified if oil and gas operations are or will take place within two miles of their well and of any oil and gas operation that puts water quality at risk, including notification regarding the necessity and labs that test for toxic BTEC compounds.
  3. Manage oil fields to prevent stormwater runoff and recharge aquifers. To prevent soil erosion and decrease the amount of sediment entering nearby waterways and storm drain systems, grade in contour, install upland catchments and sedimentation ponds to hold soil in place and allow reduced runoff to permeate soil and contribute to groundwater recharge, whether or not groundwater is potable or brackish.
  4. Manage oil fields to minimize dust and to sequester carbon. Grade in contour and install silt barriers, ban herbicide use, mulch or seeding to prevent dust and slow, spread and sink storm water to support vegetation, such as trees, bushes and grasses where possible to sequester carbon.

 

Events

350 VC Climate Hub Policy Suggestions Resilience Section of Climate Action Plan

 


350 Ventura County Climate Hub Input for Policies

Resilience Section of Climate Chapter

 

 

 

 

GOAL A: Community engaged in achieving targets and developing resilience through outreach, collaboration and adaptive management to reduce vulnerability and make the county more climate-ready.

POLICY

  1. Continuous feedback. Hold periodic public updates with information and inform each community regarding progress toward attaining emissions reduction targets.
  2. Outreach. Conduct outreach activities, including online and social media, community presentations, event participation, and other strategies to continue to engage the public and solicit input, suggestions, and participation.
  3. Collaboration. Provide opportunities for collaboration and an opportunity for the cities and the County to receive feedback on potential improvements or changes to the emissions-reduction and resilience enhancing measures.
  4. Adaptive management. Climate resilience planning must integrate a monitoring program that is able to detect the needed information for strategy evaluation and incorporate feedback loops to link implementation and monitoring to the decision-making process that also takes advantage of new technologies and climate protection science to discover continuously higher-level, more comprehensive approaches to match the scale, variety and difficult predictability of climate hazards.

 

GOAL B – Healthy and safe communities

POLICY

  1. Foster a connected community Enable movement throughout communities with minimal single-occupancy automobile use by prioritizing development of strong bicycle and pedestrian networks linking together car-free, fully public spaces (i.e. not subject to the corporate codes of conduct present within shopping malls) that serve as nodes for neighborhood services, public and private transit options, social activities, and event programming.
  2. Multi-generational co-housing. Promote living arrangements to strengthen social bonds across all age groups.
  3. “Right-size” emergency and service vehicles. Design reduced-width automobile travel lanes for smaller emergency and service vehicles as necessary to permit pedestrian, bicycle, and transit improvements.
  4. Improve baseline resilience in vulnerable populations
  5. Support basic needs. Invest in social systems that help support basic needs for people, including food, water, shelter, transportation, and healthcare that are vulnerable to breakdown from climate-related crises, especially if they currently suffer from dwindling resources and financial support.
  6. Affordable non-toxic food. Food grown without toxic inputs should be readily accessible to everyone.
  7. Eliminate food deserts and develop food hubs. Develop and expand the model of the food hub to connect local regenerative farmers with their local communities.
  8. Minimize or compensate for displacement. Encourage development that minimizes the displacement effects of gentrification and/or offers existing residents of the community just compensation for displacement, financial assistance to renters and homeowners that would be impacted by gentrification, and that guarantee a “Right to Remain” within the new development  in order to maintain the valuable existing community fabric.

JUSTIFICATION

Fruitvale policies exemplify development without gentrification: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/03/29/development-without-gentrification-oaklands-fruitvale-is-the-model-report-says/

How can L.A. build dense new housing without displacing working families? With a ‘Right to Remain’    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-ol-gaisford-right-to-remain-gentrification-20180212-story.html )

 

GOAL C – Adequate water resources

  1. Use less water
  2. Manage water as one, protect watersheds, expand wetlands

 

GOAL D – Sustainable, climate-resilient economy

  1. Diversify agriculture
  2. Be ready. Seize opportunities to prepare and adapt

 

GOAL E:  Mainstream the use of climate and related economic projections

  1. Protect supply chains. Build a resilient and equitable supply chain, evaluate vulnerabilities
  2. Evaluate resilience. Quantify value of resilience investments
  3. Anticipate a global rising price of carbon. Nations are adopting policies to tax carbon or cap emissions of carbon dioxide that will soon include international trade conditions to isolate those nations that do not reduce emissions.

 

GOAL F: Manage buffer zones

  1. Buffers. Make room for water and exclude pollution by maintaining wider buffers
  2. Plan to avoid hazards. Align plans with hazards with a priority on disadvantaged communities.
  3. Protect ecosystems. Protect streams, wetlands, farms, ranches, forests, chaparral. Continue to reduce toxic pollution, loss of streamflow, and invasive plant species that harm biodiversity.
  4. Minimize fragmentation. Reduce development that fragments habitats compromising ecological integrity of some landscapes throughout the county, making them more susceptible to climate change hazards, such as flooding.

 

GOAL G: Promote ag preparedness and food security

  1. Farm carbon, water and diverse crops
  2. Subsidize regeneratively grown local food
  3. Endorse the practice of solar cooking of food for the public whenever the sun is shining.

 

GOAL H: Protect infrastructure and built systems

  1. Map areas vulnerable to sea-level rise through and beyond 2040. Measure potential costs of sea level rise suchs as from people displaced, real estate destroyed, infrastructure destroyed, environmental hazards, and begin planning for how to address sea-level rise.
  2. Preparedness for businesses and organizations. Position your business or organization to recover from extreme events
  3. Anticipate rising price of carbon. Reduce carbon intensity of product supply chains.
  4. Look at essential systems in new ways to assure functionality during crises. Invest creatively in the most essential systems providing water, sanitation, drainage, communications, transportation, and energy supporting designs that rely less on large grids and are more self-sufficient to perform neighborhoods or communities are islanded as a result of a disaster.

PROGRAM

Mapping of vulnerable areas can include maps like this, but with alternative solutions to loss of land and related issues detailed and presented with maps/infographics.
https://mtc.ca.gov/sites/default/files/Sea_Level_Rise_8x11.pdf

JUSTIFICATION

Regarding the current prohibition of solar cooking food for public gatherings in solar ovens, the Health Department does not include solar cooking devices within their approved cadre of cooking platforms because of a lack of American National Standard Institute (ANSI)  credential and Underwriter Laboratories (UL) Listed testing. Food safety is not determined by the above standards. Food safety is determined by thermometer readings which can be well accomplished with any solar cooking device and appropriate monitoring.

 

GOAL I:  Reduce emissions from consumption of goods and services

  1. Gather baseline data and target consumption-based emissions. Develop strategies to reduce local and global impacts of consumer choices.  
  2. Educate consumers. Provide information towards economical, sustainable consumption.

 

GOAL J:  Increase emergency preparedness and prevention

  1. Risk reduction. Reduce forest flammability, improve biodiversity and water supply. Apply global lessons in building for seismically-sound structures within and near fault zones, and areas of potential liquefaction during an earthquake; require proven standards to be met by new and retrofitted.
  2. Preparedness. Prepare yourself for emergencies, learn CPR and first aid. Encourage expansion of the Community Emergency Response Team programs throughout Ventura County.
  3. Research new best practices. Encourage STEM program development at CSUCI that is at least partly oriented towards the research and development of new building materials and innovations in structural design that can be applied to the natural disasters faced locally (earthquakes, fires, floods, mudslides, etc.).
  4. Map development plan for microgrids with energy storage in community center disaster shelters. Encourage local power generation and community microgrid development to minimize risk of large-scale power outages in emergency situations.
  5. Collaboration. Invest in radical collaboration for interagency preparedness.
  6. Reserve fund for people displaced by disasters. Seek to create a regional fund for disaster response that can provide assistance to local government agencies to address urgent disaster impacts, help cover relocation costs of those displaced by disasters and climate change effects, etc.

 

GOAL K: Monitor climate and its effects

POLICY

  1. Reality check. Monitor  real-time conditions to refine climate change forecasts

PROCESS

Gather baselines and create a resilience index

Align investments with values, coordinate incentives and funding streams

Measure resilience over time

JUSTIFICATION FOR CLIMATE RESILIENCE GOALS

Hotter, Drier Weather with Longer Summers: More extremely hot days, More frequent and intense droughts, more frequent and intense wildfires, warmer nights, fewer winter nights that freeze
More Variable Rain: Greater risk of extreme floods

Sea Level Rise: Higher sea level and storm surge

 

 

 

Events

350 VC Climate Hub Policy Suggestions for Carbon Sequestration Section of Climate Action Plan

 

350 Ventura County Climate Hub Input for Policies

Carbon Sequestration Section of Climate Chapter

 

 

 

 

GOAL A – Create a greenhouse gas accounting framework with spatially explicit inventory and baseline data for below and  above-ground carbon, as well as other greenhouse gases related to land management.

 

POLICIES

  1. Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment Tools. Work with state agencies and NGOs to deploy the most appropriate available tools and protocols for defining baselines, setting targets, and tracking changes in carbon sequestration.
  2. Maps. Make plans and strategies using maps showing vegetation densities layered with carbon density and habitat suitability.
  3. Collaborate to set and track targets. Develop partnerships with Cal State University Channel Islands, University of Santa Barbara, Ventura County Community Colleges and non-governmental organizations to oversee the setting and tracking of carbon sequestration targets for different land uses and cropping systems.
  4. Mitigation ratios tied to carbon density. 4:1 minimum mitigation ratios will be applied to impacts to healthy forest, multi-strata agroforestry, riparian cottonwood stands, and coastal wetland and riparian habitat, and highly carbon-dense deep-rooted perennials to protect the county’s existing and expanding carbon sinks.
  5. Adaptive management. Plans to meet carbon sequestration targets must integrate a monitoring program that is able to detect the needed information for strategy evaluation and incorporate feedback loops to link implementation and monitoring to the decision-making process that also takes advantage of new technologies and climate protection science to discover continuously higher-level, more comprehensive approaches to match the scale, variety and difficult predictability of climate hazards.

PROGRAMS

Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment tool to be completed during 2018 for use by all counties. Short slide presentation here.

Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP)
Strategic Agricultural Lands Conservation(SALC) Program

Merced County Collaboration is a model for land use, land management and conservation activities.

BACKGROUND

Beginning numbers for a breakdown of County’s land categories by number of acres for purpose of defining existing and potential carbon sinks:

Forest/Woodlands (federally owned)

Forest/Woodlands (non-federally owned)
Shrublands

Grassland – 200,000 acres

Grazing land – 198,000

Wetlands – 1500 Mugu Lagoon, historically 3,000, could be three times that countywide in the 3 watershed estuaries and riparian areas?
Barrren

Orchards (woody perennial crops-fruit and nut trees)  43,500 acres

Vineyards – some of the 43,500 above?

Annual vegetable crops (conventional, i.e. artificial N inputs) 37,300 ac
Annual crops (regenerative/sustainable/organic/biodynamic) 8,200 ac
Nonwoody perennial crops  100 acres herbaceous perennials
Irrigated pasture

Urban and built up 106,000 (how to inventory trees and community forests)

 

GOAL B: Increase biological carbon sequestration on forested lands [1 million  MT CO2/yr very rough guess].

POLICIES

  1. Urban Forestry Advisory Committee. Establish a countywide advisory committee of similar make-up to the California Urban Forestry Advisory Committee to promote the increased protection of forested lands including community and urban forests and riparian cottonwood forests, and reduced conversion to non-forest uses.
  2. Collaboration. Develop partnerships with the owners and managers of forested lands, federal and non-federal, and develop and implement a plan to expand and improve forest management to improve forest health and resilience
  3. Wildland-urban interface. Develop and implement best management and building code practices to minimize wildfire risk along the wildland-urban interface.
  4. Private-owned foothill chaparral and forests. Develop a program to measure and reward increasing carbon sequestration in private-owned forests.
  5. Afforestation. Restore ecosystems in degraded, barren and wildfire- and pest-impacted areas by planting mixed native species that provide multiple benefits including economic revenue.
  6. Controlled burns and natural processes. Restore the fire regime that renews soil, aids dispersal of seeds, and thins out less desirable species while reducing fuel hazard and restoring forest structure.
  7. Tree pests as superior thinning agents.
  8. Leaving trees where they fall. Educate land managers and those who do forest management and landscape maintenance that dead trees and branches are vital components of forest and landscape ecosystems and should be removed only when necessary because they are long-term storage systems for carbon.
  9. Mountain meadow wetlands. Map and restore mountain meadow wetland habitat.
  10. Establish funding mechanisms for conservation. Create a mitigation fee system to fund purchase of development rights to protect and conserve heavily wooded areas.
  11. Transfer Development Right. Support TDRs and density transfers designed to protect carbon density on existing forest land.
  12. Enterprises to support forest restoration. Innovate solutions for wood products and biomass utilization to support ongoing forest management and restoration activities.
  13. Protect and Increase urban trees. Create inventory and set targets for tree protection program and for planting more street trees and more parks with trees with a minimum target of 500 street trees in underserved communities by 2021 from 2016; 15 percent increase in total trees by 2025 from 2021; 35 percent increase in total trees by 2030 from 2021; 50% increase in total trees by 2040 from 2021.

.
PROGRAMS

EcoRestoration in Ventura River Watershed-Demonstration of stormwater capture to maintain aquifers in Ojai Valley and Ventura River watersheds may include forest restoration and riparian habitat with native plant species.

 

Forest Carbon Plan designed by CARB recognizes the Los Padres National Forest as in the state. Several regulatory, policy, and financial challenges have hindered the ability of the Forest Service and Department of Interior agencies (Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service) to increase the pace and scale of restoration needed, such as funding for wildland fire suppression and the procedural requirements of federal environmental and planning statutes. The State of California and Ventura County have a vested interest in working closely with the federal government to help resolve these obstacles and to achieve forest health, resilience and the expansion of carbon sequestration on the lands that federal agencies manage.

Urban Forestry Advisory Committee will implement policy 13 to protect and increase urban trees.

JUSTIFICATIONS

Forests hold far more carbon than any other ecosystem.

Forest restoration mitigates flooding.

Forest restoration and good management provide many co-benefits: groundwater recharge, water quality, wildlife and beneficial insect habitat, biodiversity, scenic beauty and recreation.

Dead trees store carbon for decades. As they decompose, much of their carbon returns to the soil, where it is held for thousands of years. Large-scale removal of dead tree material disturbs carbon sequestration. Burning wood releases carbon and worsens air pollution. Messy woods are good for wildlife – creating snags, cavities, brushpiles, and other structural elements that protect and provide cover and resources for a diversity of wildlife. Dead trees and brush can be moved for paths and recreational areas without clearing them.

Afforestation is planting forests where they haven’t been, as described in Drawdown- Afforestation. Fast-growing, dense plots of native species can draw down carbon, while supporting biodiversity, addressing human needs for firewood, food, and medicine, and providing ecosystem services such as flood and drought protection explaining why on a global basis the net savings from this solution is expected to approach $400 Billion.

 

GOAL C- Increase biological carbon sequestration on farmland, grazing land, and other non-forested, non-wetland, natural and working lands [1000 MT CO2/yr very rough guess].

POLICIES

  1. Inventory and baseline for below and above-ground carbon on farm and grazing land. Create a program to track achievement of targets for carbon sequestration on working lands, including rangeland carbon farming.
  2. Partnerships. Facilitate local partnerships to determine targets and strategies for expanding carbon sinks on working lands.
  3. Science-based technical assistance. Study and promote knowledge and understanding about best practices for biological carbon sequestration including on-site water harvesting, green growth, and healthy soils in integrated natural systems to preserve and enhance natural and working lands including trees, vegetation, and soils.
  4. Restoration of small water cycles. Promote best practices for restoring small water cycles by appropriate stormwater harvesting to support revegetation, particularly of native species, to include healthy trees which are “nature’s most efficient carbon sinks” and are sources of microbial nuclei associated with formation of raindrops.

PROGRAMS

Healthy Soils Initiative – a collaboration of state agencies led by CDFA to promote the development of healthy soils on farm and ranchlands through grants for innovative practices that contribute to building soil organic matter to increase carbon sequestration and reduce overall GHG.

Carbon Farming Rewards Program – A collaboration of local organizations to develop, test, demonstrate, and document achievements in carbon sequestration. Identify working lands with above average potential for carbon sequestration including deep-rooted perennial grasses by applying compost, and support increasing availability of local compost for application to prioritized lands for carbon farming. Reward appropriate achievements on an annual basis using the most simple, common sense metrics, toward short- and long-term targets for carbon sequestration inviting all owners or managers of working lands of two acres or more in size potentially including as a secondary priority public lands, regardless of the number of property owners and regardless of when or by what strategy the carbon was sequestered.  

JUSTIFICATION

Healthy soil is the best medium for growing healthy, resilient, disease and pest resistant plants in part because the interaction of soil microbes with plant roots supports an optimal soil-carbon sponge and provides the cation exchanges and symbiosis with fungi that screen out toxic minerals and optimize plant mineral content for highest nutritional value..  (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/).

Health of agricultural soil relates to its ability to build and retain adequate soil organic matter via the activity of plants and soil organisms. Adequate soil organic matter ensures the soil’s continued capacity as a vital living ecosystem with multiple benefits for producing food for animals and humans. The multiple benefits of healthy soil include:

  •         Provides nutrients that support plant growth, biodiversity and yields.
    ·         Increases water infiltration, reduces runoff, able to hold up to 20 times its weight in water; assists flood management.
    ·         Sequesters carbon reducing greenhouse gases
  •         Reduces sediment erosion and dust
  •         Improves water and air quality by reducing emissions of criteria pollutants and the persistence of pesticides in soil and water.
    ·         Improves habitat for wildlife and beneficial organisms including a diversity of soil-borne organisms that constitute a quarter of the world’s species.

 

GOAL C – Increase biological carbon sequestration in coastal and riparian wetlands [1000 MT CO2/yr very rough guess-or a 5 yr target].

POLICIES

  1. Inventory wetlands and set targets and strategies. Collaborate with the cities, districts and the Naval Bases to inventory all existing and former wetlands to set targets and strategies to prevent destruction of wetlands that would be a source of carbon emissions if disturbed.
  2. Collaboration. Work with land conservancies, the Naval Bases and other organizations to map and set targets for numbers of acres of expansion of  wetlands through restoration or mitigation.
  3. Protect and conserve wetlands. Prevent toxic runoff into streams, estuaries and wetlands that may reduce carbon holding capacity and harm wildlife.

PROGRAM

Blue Carbon Project Such a project can be started here to provide many services including protection from storms and erosion, tourism benefits, and climate adaptation and mitigation. Coastal ecosystems with seagrasses, salt marshes provide climate mitigation services because they are effective at sequestering and storing carbon dioxide, referred to as “coastal blue carbon”. Degradation of blue carbon ecosystems from land use impacts, identified in the inventory, would prevent their service as a carbon sink.

JUSTIFICATION

Wetland ecosystems provide an optimum natural environment for sequestration and long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere; however they are also natural sources of greenhouse gas emissions, especially methane. It has been shown that most wetlands can be created and restored to provide carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services without great concern of creating net negative impacts due to methane emissions.

 

GOAL E – Reduce food waste [1000 MT CO2/yr very rough guess-or a 5 yr target]

 

POLICIES

  1. Inventory food waste and set targets. Work with the Ventura County Farm Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, business organizations, colleges,  and NGOs to assess the sources and amounts of food wasted in the county and set 5 and 10 year percent reduction targets.
  2. Gleaning. Promote programs that reduce food waste including by gleaning that distributes food to its highest purpose.
  3. Food composting. Assure that all food and agricultural waste is processed through biodigestion or composting.
  4. Mandatory recycling or composting. All food wholesalers, retailers and food service operations will separate food for recycling or composting and prevent biodegradable materials from going to the landfill.

 

GOAL F – Promote local regenerative agriculture for climate mitigation and resilience [1000 MT CO2/yr very rough guess-or a 5 yr target]

 

POLICIES

  1. Regenerative agriculture certification programs. Promote regenerative agriculture certification programs that reduce GHG emissions and/or enhance carbon stocks or increase sequestration agriculture practices that also help preserve agricultural productivity and ecological health.
  2. Marketing local regenerative products.. Promote local, regenerative food and ag products
  3. Farmers’ Markets. Promote local farmers’ markets to provide communities with local food grown by regenerative practices.
  4. Regenerative agriculture education. Promote awareness through the public schools and community colleges about the importance of local regenerative agriculture methods for climate mitigation and resilience

PROGRAM

Regenerative Agriculture Certification Program

Soil Foodweb Practitioner Certification Program

Certified Farmers’ Markets

Food Forward and other gleaning organizations

Food to Compost or Food to Energy Program (example at Monterey Regional Waste Management Facility)

 

JUSTIFICATION

Regenerative agricultural systems represent a higher social and environmental value than systems labeled sustainable or organic, because they aim to release the potential of whole natural systems using such practices as low or no tillage, diverse cover crops, in-farm fertility minimizing external nutrients, no toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and making the most of crop rotations. Regenerative systems hold the greatest potential for achieving climate mitigation and resilience through improvements in carbon- and water-holding capacity.

From Drawdown: Regenerative agriculture worldwide is estimated to be at 108 million acres that will increase to a total of 1 billion acres by 2050. This rapid adoption is based in part on the historic growth rate of organic agriculture, as well as the projected conversion of conservation agriculture to regenerative agriculture over time. This increase could result in a total reduction of 23.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, from both sequestration and reduced emissions. Regenerative agriculture could provide a $1.9 trillion financial return by 2050 on an investment of $57 billion.

Silvopasture according to Drawdown “far outpaces any grassland technique for counteracting the methane emissions of livestock and sequestering carbon under-hoof. Pastures strewn or crisscrossed with trees sequester five to ten times as much carbon as those of the same size that are treeless, storing it in both biomass and soil.”

County or regional certification. The most reliable and accepted certification programs are locally controlled rather than by CDFA or USDA because of greater transparency and shared values.  The National Organic Program has been weakened and obfuscated to the point that hydroponic vegetables can be labeled organic without being labeled hydroponic.

 

GOAL G – Promote local and global agricultural climate preparedness and food security and equity

 

POLICIES

  1. Agricultural resilience. Promote peer-to-peer networking to develop agricultural resilience, including alternative crops or adopting new agricultural land management strategies.
  2. Local farm product distribution over exports. Promote local food and ag products by supporting local farmers’ markets, farm to schools and hospitals, and other markets for local agricultural products.
  3. Avoid exporting to places that can grow their own. Promote awareness of the full impacts our exports may have on the development of agricultural climate preparedness, food security and equity in other countries.
  4. Cost of farmland. Reduce the high cost of land for food production.
  5. Food hubs and food cooperatives. Encourage growth of food hubs and coops that support local farmers for their natural resource stewardship, job development, contribution to public health, food system equity and climate resilience while providing wide access to fresh quality local food, especially in neighborhoods recognized as food deserts.
  6. Urban gardens and farms. Promote urban agriculture through encouragement of amended zoning codes and provision of recycled water to allow and support urban farming and gardens in appropriate areas of every neighborhood.
  7. Neighborhood garden sales. Do not legally categorize as “farmers’ markets or farm stands” regular events where neighbors convene to sell surplus produce, similar to yard sales.

PROGRAMS

Farm to School

Community Gardens

Food hubs

JUSTIFICATIONS

Changing temperature and rain patterns, especially drought, require new strategies, and may result in higher food prices. The farmer population is aging; young farmers cannot afford land. Venturans depend on imports for over half of the food supply while freight costs for commodities exports will rise.

Ventura County’s exports are produced with cheaper fuel relative to most other countries. We can monitor the potential harm our exports could have on farmers in other places so that all communities can be food secure while doing their part to sequester carbon.

 

 

Events

DATE CHANGE: MARCH MISH MASH ON KEEPING IT IN THE GROUND 3/29, 6:30 PM

Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura,
5456 Ralston, Ventura

CLICK HERE FACEBOOK SHARE WITH FRIENDS

UPDATES ON CURRENT ACTIONS:
Clean Power Alliance – what cities joined and what’s next?
Edison Request for Proposals for Local Clean Energy – finding host sites for projects
Cabrillo Oilfield Expansion – building opposition for appeal to Board of Supervisors around mid-late April
Ventura County Climate Action Plan & General Plan Update

PLANNING POTENTIAL FUTURE ACTIONS:
350 Fossil Free / Ready for 100 Resolution Campaign to Cities City Climate Action Plans

A point person for Off Fossil Fuels as part of the Food Water Action Partners Program

No to Grid Regionalization Bill in Sacramento

Movies and other events to raise awareness

Email suggestions to vcclimate@gmail.com  – Check back for agenda updates.

Fellowship Hall Entrance is at the back of the church. Drive past the front doors and around to the right to the far west end of the building.

 

Events

COUNTY ADOPTS 100% CLEAN TIER FOR COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS

Ventura County Board of Supervisors  became the first county, and with Ojai, approximately the 4th jurisdiction to choose the 100% renewable energy default for accounts starting with Clean Power Alliance in June. Thousand Oaks chose the 50% renewable energy default for both commercial and residential.
Supervisor Parks arranged a brilliant and creative strategy to separate the decision into
a) government and commercial accounts that need to start in June, and
b) residential accounts that don’t start until late in 2018.
Choosing the 100% renewable energy tier as the default for residential accounts is controversial and involves less energy use than government and commercial accounts.
With this bold, visionary decision businesses in the unincorporated area will be alerted in mailings starting around April and again in May that their energy will be coming from Clean Power Alliance instead of SoCal Edison AND will be set at the 100% renewable energy tier.
They will be informed how much greenhouse gas emissions will be eliminated if they stay at the 100% tier. They will be told that that tier costs 7% more than what they have been paying SoCal Edison and that to save 4% on their bill they can choose the 36% clean energy tier or to  save 3% on their bill they can choose the 50% clean energy tier. SoCal Edison currently has only 28% clean energy in their electricity so businesses will be able to be both cheaper and cleaner, but the county decided to ask that they opt down if they don’t want to support the 100% clean tier.
By setting the default at the highest level it is possible that seven times more businesses will stay at that level than if they set the tier at the 50% level like Thousand Oaks did and explain to businesses and residents the value of going up to 100%.  People trust their local government to see that the opening tier is the best for them and they tend not to think about it. There is discussion about setting a fourth tier at the break-even cost with Edison which would be around 65% renewable energy.
Clean power advocates will ask the Clean Power Alliance and the Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance to do effective communications and outreach  to assure that all businesses know that they can reduce their bills by opting for less than 100% clean energy while understanding what a great deal it is to only pay 7% more for fossil free electricity.

Events

VENTURA JOINS CLEAN POWER ALLIANCE!

Ventura City Council voted to join the Clean Power Alliance after listening to 23 speakers including former State Senator Frav Pavley in favor and none against.   Gary Gero, LA County Sustainability Officer was able to alleviate the concern about franchise fees. CCE Consultant Don Dame also suggested the financial impact would be negligible.
Supervisor Parks shared the vast impact that the city joining will have on Ventura County’s emissions reduction goals since a large majority of county facilities are in the city of Ventura. This decision by the city helps Ventura County “hit our greenhouse gas emissions reductions goals out of the ballpark”. The goal is 20% reductions from 2005 levels by 2020 and now we can achieve 50% reductions by 2020.
Supervisor Parks compared the installation of the solar array at the county government center versus having the opportunity the city could provide to join Clean Power Alliance. She said the county cut 532 metric tons of CO2 by an investment of $4,800,000 in the solar array. Compare that to cutting almost 21,000 metric tons of CO2 by being able to purchase 100% renewable energy from Clean Power Alliance at a cost of only $719,000 more on the county’s electricity bills.  That gives us an idea of how powerful this decision is for Climate Action by giving agencies, businesses and people the option for inexpensive 100% clean energy.
Council Member Cheryl Heitman took the  step of calling the city’s liaison with SoCal Edison. She said she achieved no further clarity about what joining the Clean Power Alliance would do to the city’s franchise fee agreement. It took courageous leadership by Councillors LaVere, Heitmann, Weir and Naserenko to vote to join knowing that SoCal Edison repeatedly refused to affirm Gero and Dame’s expert analysis. As Councillor Heitmann said, the city will be waiting for a statement from SoCal Edison that was unlikely to be forthcoming. That was not a sound reason to delay joining that would have resulted in a late entry fee and no service until 2020.
Thanks to Ventura’s climate leaders for giving energy choice to Ventura County government and thousands more businesses and households in the county.
That completes the Climate Hub campaign for helping Ventura County’s cities join Clean Power Alliance. Port Hueneme and Fillmore postponed decisions and Santa Paula is exploring joining with City of Lancaster, but all the rest of the County is now on board for an exciting adventure taking control over energy sourcing.
Many volunteer advocates from all over the county lobbied local government to make this happen. It proves that working together, people can make a positive difference—this time for renewable energy and preservation of our planet.

Events

Supervisors to Vote for 100%, 50% or 36% Clean Power Default on Tues 2/27, 11 am

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors will vote on Tuesday 2/27, 11 am (or a little after) what the default tier will be for renewable energy for ratepayers in the unincorporated area. Ojai City Council unanimously chose the 100% default level. Other cities will decide later. If Ventura County chooses 100% for the unincorporated areas outside the ten cities, the cities will be more likely to follow and build an ambitious countywide clean energy outreach program . Email your support of the 100% renewable energy default to clerkoftheboard@ventura.org early Monday, February 26.
What is meant by a default level of renewable energy?
Each city that joins Clean Power Alliance gets to make this important decision of which renewable energy product their customers will start at when the program begins. The choices are 36%, 50%, or 100% renewable energy content.  The default is the energy product and rate that customers will be enrolled in automatically if they do not make another selection.  Customers always have the choice if they wish to opt for a different energy product or opt out of Clean Power Alliance (CPA) all together.
 What does each energy product cost?

Clean Power Alliance

Discount on Bills

Clean Power Alliance

vs.

Edison Standard Plan

Discount on Bills

Clean Power Alliance

vs.

Edison Comparable Plan in terms of renewable energy

36% Renewable Energy

4%

4%

50% Renewable Energy

3%

12%

100% Renewable Energy

-7%

10%

 

We want the County and all cities to adopt 100% renewable energy as our default for the following reasons:

  • Cities have or are adopting 100% clean energy goals. Some communities have adopted 100% clean energy goals and committed to climate action plans to reduce emissions.  Others are working on stronger Climate Action Plans. This is a fitting opportunity to support that proclamation and make immediate and substantial progress on that goal.  What better time than now to take action?
  • Ten times more people choose 100% clean energy when the default is set at 100% than when it is set at less than 100%. By setting the default at 100%, we will have much more participation at the 100% level.  Often it’s just inertia that keeps people from deviating from the default, so if we want to encourage more clean energy, then our default should support that. Here is a study about the “power of the nudge”.  It shows that people stay at the default, wherever it is set. When people were given 100% renewable energy as the default, even though it cost a little more 70% stayed at 100%. When people were given a lower cost, lower level (like 50%) only 7% chose to move up to 100%.   https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-power-of-the-nudge-to-change-our-energy-future/
  • The 100% level costs just 7% more than current Edison standard rates.  When customers join Clean Power Alliance at the 100% tier, their energy is 70% cleaner than it was with Edison (up from 30% to 100%).  That seems like a compelling return.  If a household has a monthly electricity bill of $100 for example, it’ll cost just $7 extra for energy made without one drop of fossil fuel.  Most probably won’t notice the difference, but for those who want to reduce their electricity bill, they can opt for 50% for a big savings or to 36% for a little more savings.
  • Customers aren’t locked into anything.  Every resident and business can choose to opt down to a lower renewable tier at any time, and benefit from cost savings and also more renewable energy than they are currently getting through Edison.  Or they can opt out of CPA all together.
  • Our communities can serve as a model of sustainability.   More clean energy means less polluting emissions, which benefits everyone.  We will be leaders in securing a clean and distributed energy future.
  • Four notices will be sent at the time of the change-over from Edison to Clean Power Alliance. One will come 60 days before the switch and a second one 30 days before the switch. Two more will be mailed after the switch. Each one will explain the different energy products and how much they cost and provide three ways to change: mail, phone or online. Commercial accounts are scheduled to launch June 1 and residential accounts will be later this year. Between now and then, we expect the Clean Power Alliance, the County and the participating cities to do public outreach and communications so that people are informed about their options.
  • Case study in Portola Valley where the default was set at 100% renewable energy. Portola Valley is a participating city in Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE) in the Bay Area. They joined PCE April 2017 with the 100% option costing 5% less than for the 50% option, which is similar to ours.  They have an opt out rate of 5.4% and opt down rate of 3%.  So that means that over 90% of their residents and businesses have stayed in at 100%.  A city spokesperson explained that we really get one shot at setting the default, it would be really hard to change it at a later time because it would mean notifying everyone all over again which could cause confusion and perhaps then more opt outs. She encouraged us to do it right from the get go.
  • It is hypocritical to fight years against fossil fuel power plants and then set the default at less than 100% clean energy. We are done fighting gas-fired power plants at Mandalay Beach. The Edison Request for Proposals will soon provide an incentive for a large amount of local clean energy development. If we choose 50% fossil fuel energy as our default. it sends a message to Edison and state agencies that we accept burning fossil fuel for electricity in our county.

Again, please write to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and share your support with them for the 100% default for the unincorporated area because it sends a message that we aim to achieve 100% clean energy.

 

Events

Open Letter to Mayor Andrews and Ventura Council Members

Open Letter to Mayor Andrews and Ventura Council Members,

We can’t believe the Staff Report recommending Alternative 2 to the Ventura City Council on Monday, February 26, to delay a decision to join Clean Power Alliance.

Staff is basically advising Council to force everyone to continue with the higher Edison bills instead of having a choice for lower bills from the Clean Power Alliance even though that decision forces all to pay extra for the dirtiest energy in the marketplace!  It’s incredible.

We recommend that Ventura join the Clean Power Alliance and develop a just and equitable plan that sets the default at 100% renewable energy (currently that rate is 7% higher than Edison’s base tier). We want all rate-payers to know the value of buying 100% renewable energy and know too that they have the option to opt to a cheaper rate. This is particularly important for low-income residents who can also access programs to further reduce their bills.

Venturans want cleaner energy and many, including large commercial ratepayers, would support a small increase for clean energy. Having the default at a high level will result in extra franchise fees for the city to invest. We need funds for climate disaster preparedness, such as flood prevention and battery storage at community facilities to meet neighborhood needs during a blackout. Above all, we want Ventura to be guided by the principles of a Climate Action Plan that highlights a goal for 100% renewable energy.

– Ventura County Climate Hub/ Ventura 350

Events