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

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

Our Comment to ARB on its 2030 Plan for Carbon Sequestration

Dear Shelby Livingston:

The California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan Concept Paper has many elements right, but the way it prioritizes its proposed responses is way off.

Climate change has revealed itself to be an existential crisis with each new season of natural disasters and record high temperatures. Resilience works only for those with the resources to be resilient. To preserve California for all and for California do its part in the global response, we must focus our energies on mitigating the changes to our climate.

The paper does not even refer to the possibility of returning atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm, and lacks a sense of urgency about the need to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentration. We are living in a world today that is on the brink; the “multi-benefits” referred to in the concept paper will be meaningless if we no longer have a livable planet. For a plan to move us in the right direction, it must go past economic benefits and focus on ecological benefits and make climate benefits paramount. Building up water holding capacity and productivity, increasing tree canopy in neighborhoods for better quality of life, as well as the immense benefits of supporting biodiversity and species conservation, are all secondary to GHG reductions and biological carbon sequestration.

Regarding the plan’s approach to farmland, the suggested actions omit the benefits of providing incentives as well as an immediate tax on methane emissions for farmers to reduce the practice of animal agriculture and to move toward increased plant [output] production for direct human consumption. There also must be a tax on chemical fertilizer and tillage activity related to its release of CO2 from the soil. A public education campaign regarding climate benefits of plant-based diets is relevant to how our working lands can be used to feed more people. This needs to be included in the plan, as decreasing animal agriculture will provide parallel benefits of reduced animal GHG production and reduced pollution of land and water from animal waste.

Methane emissions are not addressed with the urgency required to avert catastrophic runaway global warming. We call on ARB once again to use the best science when calculating methane’s Global Warming Potential, i.e. the 20-year interval GWP of 84. Animal agriculture contributes roughly half of California’s methane emissions including almost 2 billion lbs. per year associated with dairy and livestock, equal to the GHG emissions from 19 coal-fired power plants and representing in just 2015 a contribution of 0.0033 degrees C to the warming of the entire planet. Please start doing the correct math for methane emissions as part of ensuring that this plan have an overriding priority on sufficient, accurate, transparent measuring and monitoring tools for goals and targets that will reduce all GHG emissions and draw down COto 350 parts per million by 2050, the goal that we believe is essential to restore the world’s climate.

 

As residents of Ventura County, California’s most drought affected area, 350 Ventura County sees that it will be essential to highlight the intersection of water conservation and storm water management with biological carbon sequestration and cooling, (as well as for resilience to protect from drought and floods.) Avoidance of extreme drought and flood is not the only goal of climate action, much better water planning and management is a prerequisite for carbon sequestration and restoration of small water cycles (Water for the Recovery of the Climate A New Water Paradigm; Michal Kravcik).

And the people of California need to understand and embrace this work. To that end, it will be essential to use all marketing tools available to educate and engage the public about both emissions reduction and biological carbon sequestration, as well as the benefits of a plant-based diet and reduced food waste. A budget must be included to communicate climate mitigation goals and targets to all residents, and offers exemplary actions that will make the biggest difference for both individuals and groups in all levels of society.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this concept paper.

Sincerely,

350 Ventura County Climate Hub

Read the 17 page Concept Paper for CA 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan and other background on their process for development of this policy:  Natural and Working Lands Sector.

Here is a recording the workshop on May 19 about the Implementation Plan:

https://fte.water.ca.gov/owncloud/index.php/s/CkgdDxWX7QObxF0

Events

Climate Action Policy Cover Letter from 41 Co-Signers

Numerous signers of the following cover letter were among over 110 attendees at the Ventura College Climate Action Summit on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 to hear Dr. Omar Clay present the latest science about climate change. A panel reported on local action. Kimberly Rivers, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) encouraged people to tell Ventura County what they want in the General Plan Update and Climate Action Plan. There was serious discussion about the most important policies to be advocating.

 

April 12, 2018 (signatures updated to 41)

Dear Ventura County Supervisors and Planning Commissioners,

The 350 Ventura County Climate Hub submits policy suggestions for the Climate Action Plan and intersecting chapters covering water, wastewater, storm water, housing, transportation and environmental justice.  Our scope follows the CARB Scoping Plan to achieve the state’s climate goals.

Our first guiding principle is to aim to do our part to achieve a stable climate. We ultimately demand that there be accountability for climate action toward goals supported by science, i.e. beyond the political goals provided in the VC2040 GPU Background Document.  Simply put, carbon dioxide levels must be restored to 350 parts per million. Global desertification with the reduction in small local rainwater cycles must be reversed to aid in sequestering legacy carbon currently in the atmosphere and ocean and to halt the spread of mass migration.

Our second guiding principle is that we can’t set goals without baselines provided by a comprehensive, reliable inventory of our emissions and our carbon sequestration capacity.  The county’s “Climate on the Move” is a good start in assembling data regarding current inventories produced by local jurisdictions. The assembled inventories need further work before we can develop what we believe is the most cost-effective mix of measurable goals and targets.

We know with certainty, however, that the GHG emissions from tailpipes must be drastically reduced to meet legally binding state targets.  California must achieve a 32 per cent reduction in per-capita driving by 2030 (relative to 2005) if we are to meet our responsibilities to stabilize the climate.  A big part of the needed reduction will need to come from car-parking reform. The first step should be a simplified demonstration project of a Dividend-Account Parking System at county employee parking lots. This project would educate owners of parking lots concerning this potent measure to incentivize decreased driving.

A second urgent issue is the water shortage. Our input to the Water Chapter is cross-referenced in the Emissions and Carbon Sequestration sections of the Climate Chapter.  At the Planning Department’s Water Focus Group on March 19, water district leaders were looking for wide latitude in terms of strategies, but much stronger county leadership to help them plan for the worst case scenario. This scenario, obviously, is that there isn’t enough state water in the long term to share with Ventura County.

The water shortage is vital from a climate action perspective.  Beyond our biological and economic need for water and for field supported tiered rates is the need to collectively achieve greater conservation.  We want to point out this fundamental reality: we cannot sequester carbon or contribute to a reduction of extreme surface temperatures and flooding without very different county management of rainfall and irrigation. Therefore, we ask that you read our suggestions for the Water Chapter with an open mind. These policy suggestions need much more research and discussion; however, they help us imagine the kind of paradigm shifts that we envision, such as wastewater recycling for potable use; building codes that allow dry toilets and increased greywater use; upland restoration of small water cycles; and regenerative farm practices that simultaneously hold water and carbon.

These examples of policy for various systems–parking, wastewater, storm water, and biological agricultural–illustrate what we believe are three overarching principles:

  • Inconvenience. Some powerful strategies require radical changes in behavior—many may say ‘inconvenience’. Many of our suggestions are in this category.
  • Reversals of policy and practice. Some essential strategies require the reversal of certain long established zoning patterns, ordinances, codes and accepted practice.
  • County leadership for broad community engagement and involvement. The most powerful strategies require a radical new level of community engagement. For example, we heard a county water management staff person say that the restoration of small water cycles in the uplands that we propose can only be “done by the grassroots”. So be it. We must have county leadership to mobilize the grassroots! That must be the motivating spirit of the Climate Action Plan.

We have heard Supervisor Bennett say on more than one occasion how unique this county is—the mix of geographic features and social identity can be leveraged to accomplish visionary policy not possible in most localities. Despite some friction on some issues, there is a framework and a tendency for the cities to look to the leadership of the county.

Ventura County’s size and diversity of ecosystems gives it potential as a model for demonstrating how to reduce emissions and sequester carbon by expanding soil-carbon sponges in urban, agricultural, and open spaces.  You will see in the Carbon Sequestration section of our policy input Goal A referencing the CA Department of Conservation “Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment Tool” (to be completed during 2018 for use by all counties). The team testing the tool in Merced County has offered to present it to us. We would like to collaborate with the Planning Department and any other interested organizations on such a workshop on mapping and carbon sequestration tracking, as well as the relationship between the Water Management Plan and a Carbon Sequestration Plan.  We also want to work with the Planning Department on a workshop about parking policy to reduce per capita driving.

To conclude, county leadership at an entirely new level is necessary to achieve the VC2040 vision and guiding principles along with a scientifically and legally defensible Climate Action Plan integrated into the General Plan. That leadership must involve the cities, the water districts, and other institutions. It must engage the people and the youth in climate action now, not starting in 2020, to address the monumental intergenerational injustice of global warming.

Our work over five years building a climate action coalition is expressed with this illustration of potentially radical and inconvenient, but necessarily transformative policies that require your leadership. We pledge to continue to examine policy options among all stakeholders*.

Signed:

Jan Dietrick, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; Group Leader Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Ventura

Kitty Merrill, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; Chair 7PEAT Committee, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura

Cindy Piester, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; peace and climate activist, Ventura

Todd Shuman, Senior Analyst, Wasteful and Unreasonable Methane Uprising; Coordinating Team,  350 Ventura County Climate Hub, Camarillo

Sigrid Wright, CEO/Executive Director, Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara

Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions

Susan Cousineau, Ecologist and research lead for Slow Food Ventura County, Camarillo

Pat Browne, Nurse and Community Garden Organizer, Camarillo

Michelle Nosco, Executive Director, Arts for Earth Foundation, Ventura

Michelle Ellison, Clean Energy Advocate, Ojai

Ron Whitehurst, PCA, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries; Chairman of the Board, Ventura Food Coop; Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub, Ventura

Vicki Paul, Citizens’ Climate Lobby and CCL Mentor to Pacific Island Territories, Ventura

Faith Grant, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Thousand Oaks

Tom Seigner, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Thousand Oaks

Arturo Guido, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Oxnard

Adam Vega, Community Organizer, CAUSE; Californians for Pesticide Reform; The Abundant Table, Camarillo

Kristofer Young, DC, Functional Medicine Chiropractor, Ventura Chiropractic & Massage

Ally Gialketsis, Food Recovery and Hunger Relief Activist, Ojai Valley

Jeannette Welling, Climate Activist, Thousand Oaks

Diana H Goodrow, Ventura County Coordinator, WIN/CAWA, Oak View

Carol Gravelle, Clean Energy Advocate and Graphic Designer, Camarillo

Steve Sprinkel, Ecological Farming Association Board Member; President, Ojai Center for Regenerative Agriculture

John W. Roulac, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Nutiva; Co-producer Kiss the Ground Film

Janet Murphy, Climate Activist, Moorpark

Robert Jefferson, Small Business Owner, Thermo Tools Vacuum Forming and Fabrication, Ventura

Kristin Storey, Educator in Oxnard, resident of Ojai

Mary Olson, Peace and Climate Activist, Ventura

Carol Vesecky, Carbon Grower and Director, Biointensive for Russia, Ojai Valley

Tim Nafziger, Oak View

Kathy Bremer, Ventura

Anthony Krzywicki, Co-Coordinator, Green Party of Ventura County

Brett Levin, Masters of Environmental Management Candidate, 2019, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Vickie Peters, Member Ojai Valley Green Coalition, Ojai

Mike Bullock, Statewide Climate-Transportation Activist, Oceanside

Noah William Aist, 15 year old college student and bicycle commuter

Patty Pagaling, Director, Transition to Organics Ojai

Pat Browne, Nurse; Community Garden Leader, Camarillo

Tomás Morales Rebecchi, Organizer with Food and Water Watch, Board Member Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas

Jackson Piper, Urban Planner, residing in Newbury Park

Alan Weiner, Group Leader 350 Conejo Valley

Emmma Aist, 17 year old Community College Student and Apprentice Biodynamic Chicken & Veggie Farmer; Ventura

Christopher Ball, Biological Pest Control Technician, Ventura

Elizabeth Garcia, Biological Pest Control Technician , Oxnard

Ventura Land Trust, Executive Director, Derek Poultney

 

(Signatories to this letter do not necessarily endorse every specific recommendation that is being submitted. Greater consensus will be achieved over the coming months.)

Events

Suggested Policies for Housing Chapter VC General Plan Update

Suggested Policies for Housing Chapter of Ventura County General Plan Update 

These policy suggestions focus on serious justice issues regarding homelessness, lack of available affordable housing, and the intersection with water and climate policy and implications for 'community character'. We sought input from several design experts and a dozen advocates for the homeless and homeless people, but we have not had time to consult enough to say these represent more than our research. We do not intend that these suggestions conflict with the policy recommendations of the Ventura County Task Force on Housing or the organization Housing for All. They are a draft that we want to share because we did considerable work on it and we think there are some very important observations. Compiled by Jan Dietrick, Cindy Piester, with help of Kari Aist


GOAL A – Provide shelter for the homeless

 

 

 

POLICIES

  1. Call for State Declaration of Emergency on the county’s homeless crisis.  Urge the Governor to declare the homeless crisis a state of emergency and ask for a concerted effort and resources to tackle this crisis in an effective manner.
  2. Fairness to those evicted. Survey discriminatory eviction practices and allow those evicted legal representation in court.
  3. Immediately and urgently establish four campgrounds, one in each of the four major geographic areas of Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley, no more than two miles from public transit corridors for immediate, unqualified use by homeless people and provide needed social services including at least one nutritious meal daily in an included community dining tent, and with provisions adequate to provide enough to eat for every individual present at the campground.
  4. Container homes. Fast track the development of a community of small container homes in each of the four major geographic areas of Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley, no more than two miles from public transit corridors, to provide immediate, unqualified transitional shelter for homeless people using a Housing First model to ensure shelter and then needed social services with a community garden and a small container kitchen for the provision of nutritious vegan food featuring locally and regeneratively grown produce.
  5. Small backyard houses. Assist homeowners to build small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, if they agree to host a homeless person or family.
  6. Community land trusts. Support groups working to acquire successor parcels from development corporations to build collective housing that may include community gardens and other shared resources.
  7. Mentally ill homeless. Work with appropriate service providers to establish full time housing for those who are mentally ill.
  8. Mental Health Triage Services by the RISE program should include immediate housing assistance. RISE teams will be adequately staffed and supported to ensure housing for all homeless people as part of their case management.
  9. Continuum of Care by cities.  Help to ensure a continuum of care and particularly assist City of Ventura to provide full time year round permanent shelter to house the homeless.
    Prohibit criminalizing the mentally ill. Work with Criminal Justice System and Mental Health Services System to stop criminalizing the actions of the mentally ill.  Join with Ventura Court Superior Judge Ryan Wright and the California State Judges Association, in calling on the State of California to provide adequate beds in California’s State Hospital system rather than allowing the mentally ill to languish in jails.
  10. Citizen Oversight Committee. Create a Citizen Oversight Committee outside of the Sheriff’s Department to receive and review reports of harassment or other mistreatment of mentally ill and homeless people by law enforcement.

PROGRAMS

Housing First. A program in Utah demonstrated that public provision of free housing for the homeless is less expensive than the provision of services.The idea of Housing First is that housing comes first, services later. HUD estimates the annual cost of services for the homeless as between $30,000 and $50,000 per person. Housing costs a lot less than providing services. https://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459100751/utah-reduced-chronic-homelessness-by-91-percent-heres-how

RISE delivers the county’s mental health triage services to connect services to people who had traditionally fallen through the cracks, including service-resistant and homeless populations. It does crisis prevention and crisis resolution services for lower level crises and coordinates with crisis teams for moderate to severe crisis response. RISE teams are assigned to each of the four major geographical regions – Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley and seek out clients where they live or congregate including shelters, community centers, libraries, parks, etc. in close partnerships with community service organizations, faith-based centers, and law enforcement in each region to maximize the effectiveness of outreach and engagement efforts. Rapid Response Assessment Teams staffed by Behavioral Health Clinicians are available to the East and West County to provide “quick strike.” Coordinators dedicated to homeless clients have been assigned to the two largest regional outpatient clinics in Ventura and Oxnard to ensure that the particular needs of these clients are addressed after they commence outpatient services.

JUSTIFICATION

Urgency is required to house the homeless. The increasing numbers of displaced homeless people (including the mentally ill homeless) and the lack of ongoing resources to stably re-house them require immediate and extraordinary action. There is no low income housing available, which necessitates the provision of campgrounds and container home communities that can be established immediately.

Criminalization of the mentally ill, who now fill our jails and prisons, began with the debacle of deinstitutionalization and is felt more than anywhere in our criminal justice system. With the closure of California’s State Hospitals, the cost shifting of care and treatment of vulnerable mentally ill populations to the counties, and the roadblocks to hospital admission by those who have been charged with crimes (even though the primary offense is mental illness) has resulted in the Counties carrying an unfair burden that should be borne by the State. http://correctionalnews.com/2017/08/29/ventura-county-jail-expansion-aid-mentally-ill-inmates/

 

GOAL B: Affordable housing for all.

POLICIES

  1. Housing Stock Occupancy Survey Do an in-depth survey to better understand and mitigate housing affordability and associated zoning issues
  2. Rent and Income Survey Conduct weighted surveys of rent and income in conjunction with the above Housing Stock Occupancy Survey that reveal how many adults are living in rental units in order to be able to afford the average rent and determine what percent of personal and family income is required for rental housing to understand how rent is calculated for workers trying to survive. Find out how housing stock is purposed, who is benefiting and who is suffering as a result.
    Revise formula for Base Rent and how the policy is applied. To ensure equity and fairness across the county, examine the formula for determining Base Rent and the tax linkage for Investor/Owners who benefit from the Low Income Housing Credit Program.
  3. Keep our housed population housed. Develop strategies that address critical affordability factors and homeless prevention.
  4. People with no income need a place to live. Stop just lowering the income limit that does not actually help the very poor who consequently remain homeless.

JUSTIFICATION

Ventura County critically needs affordable safe housing by people of all income levels including those with zero income as well as those in the lower middle income range between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.  Housing here is a major justice issue, particularly for our disadvantaged communities.

An in-depth Housing Stock Occupancy Survey can be done in cooperation with all elected officials, perhaps aided by data from sources such as the census and Air BnB, to more accurately determine true vacancy rates.  It is not clear, currently, what percentage of housing stock is actually owner occupied. Nor is it clear what percentage is investor owned and either sitting vacant as an investment or used as high end vacation rental property rather than for its properly zoned use as residential housing stock.  The increase of high end investors profiting from our resources and directly impacting housing affordability puts budgetary stresses not just on residents, but also on the county and municipalities as they struggle to provide affordable housing without impacting farmland and density issues.

Vacancy rate surveys are currently done through a sample portion of the whole inventory and only with landlords who choose to participate, so there is no actual way to show that a significant number of housing units are sitting unoccupied for the purpose of profit investment and/or vacation rentals rather than for intended zoned purpose of residential housing.

Low vacancy rates stimulate the demand for expensive tax credit housing and regular market rate construction and also justify high rental and for sale prices which inflates affordability factors for ordinary working families, forcing them out of the area or leaving them at greater risk of homelessness. It is clear that investors stand to benefit by withholding inventory while the unnecessary and unreasonable burden this places on residents is ignored. This may explain Ventura County’s economic stagnation if adults are spending their money on rent and have no money left to buy goods and services.

The Base Rent Policy for a property is currently determined based upon the median income for the metropolitan Ventura County which is adjusted annually by HUD. This puts low income renters living in Oxnard and lower income areas at a tremendous and continuous disadvantage. Their base rate is determined and is frequently raised on the basis of the higher income wage earners, such as in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. This is not equitable or fair.

GOAL C: Publicly fund low-income housing as necessary to fully meet the need.   

POLICIES

  1. Affordable housing ordinances. Adopt ordinances designed to increase the local stock of affordable housing, to ensure economically diverse housing developments to fully meet needs.
  2. Enforce 15-percent inclusionary requirement of affordable to lower- or moderate-income housing. Establish a formal policy of a 15-percent inclusionary requirement of affordable to lower- or moderate-income housing for all new developments of 15 units or more, rather than the payment of a fee in-lieu of meeting this requirement which the Board of Supervisors now allows on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Support mixed developments with enough low-income housing. Encourage mixed development to include units to address the need of low, very low, and extremely low income people near where people work; help ensure design and permitting to protect them from frivolous CEQA lawsuits lodged by wealthy interests.
  4. Public funding for housing. County will obtain the land and financing, then build and manage housing to fill the need for low, very low and extremely low income people.

JUSTIFICATION

Developers do not appear to be coming in with projects providing enough low income housing.

 

GOAL D: Ensure sufficient new and renovated housing near transit corridors and jobs to help workers make ends meet and to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled.

POLICIES

  1. Eliminate side and front yard setbacks, so housing can be built to the sidewalk to use lots more efficiently.
  2. Commerce in residential areas. Allow markets, restaurants, and other neighborhood businesses to locate along major roads in residential areas.
  3. Mixed housing in shopping centers. Allow parking spaces in shopping centers to be converted to mixed housing that may be 3-5 stories and have elevators.
  4. Residential and commercial redevelopment on abandoned Zone M parcels. Encourage high-density redevelopment of “brownfields” or abandoned industrial land that is compatible with existing or expanded industrial activity.
  5. Priority of transit over roadways. Protect and increase transit service as a higher priority over building roadways and do not build roads out ahead of development.
  6. Enhance bikeways and footpaths. Encourage non-automobile travel through continuous feedback to meet needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

GOAL E – Zoning will support housing in proximity to jobs and services

POLICIES

  1. Housing near job centers. Encourage developers to build housing near job centers to reduce vehicle miles traveled.
  2. Incentivize mixed-use development. Offer bonuses to developers that result in a diversity of housing units to address the needs of people who want to work and live in a local community.
  3. Farmworkers prefer housing in communities, not in buffer zones. No building of farmworker housing to be allowed in buffer zones.  Prioritize new housing is built as infill and not on agricultural land, open space, or near polluting agricultural or industrial activity.
  4. Expand opportunities for residences co-located in commercial and industrial properties. Allow reasonable introduction or expansion of caretaker residence dwelling and needed employee housing on land zoned for commercial and industrial.

GOAL F – Eliminate blanket restrictions for height, square foot, layout, offsets, or functionality of buildings.

POLICIES

  1. Green Building Committee. Create a consultative body to develop policies that apply the latest knowledge and best practices to maximize energy and water efficiency and minimize pollution in communities.
  2. Education and engagement of neighborhood groups. Work with existing residents and neighborhood groups to learn about the benefits of situating development near transit, stores and services and to express how various options meet their needs.
  3. Taller buildings allowed that include elevators. Allow 3-6 story buildings in transit corridors with complete streets and mixed use to reduce use of cars and make sure that buildings have elevators for accomodation of mobility impaired people.
  4. Variety of housing types. Promote diversity by including a variety of housing types, unit sizes, rents and prices.
  5. Eliminate minimum off-street parking requirements. Establish minimum requirements with maximum parking spaces allows, and restrict single level parking facilities on grade.
  6. Livable streets. Make streets livable by adding stop signs and slowing traffic, and adding trees, plants, lights and signage.
  7. Accessory dwelling units. Encourage infill and building of Accessory Dwelling Units as authorized by California State Law on Jan 1, 2018.
  8. Allow community arrangements that may have private rooms or suites with shared kitchens, bathrooms, showers, storage and/or communal meeting space.

 

GOAL G – Establish codes, performance characterization and incentives for zero net energy (ZNE) goals for all buildings.

POLICIES

  1. Prioritize plan-check and permitting for Zero Net Energy projects.
  2. Mandatory building disclosure and performance characterization. Benchmarking will be mandatory on larger buildings and evolve to incorporate a wider range of structures towards public disclosure of performance information and comparisons.
  3. Zero Net Energy targets for existing buildings. Identify increasingly aggressive performance targets for existing buildings and adapt energy codes to apply broadly and deeply to building alterations.
  4. Integrate building design at the community microgrid scale. To balance load in a part of the grid or microgrid, zoning and codes will specify features of that can be of value to the local grid infrastructure that assure a reliable and affordable grid.
  5. Make public and school buildings exemplary. Public buildings and schools will demonstrate options, viability, management strategies, market development, and credibility of Zero Net Energy policy, including costs and financing.
  6. Codify appliance standards where possible. To achieve Zero Net Energy standards, equipment and plug loads must be regulated.

 

GOAL H – Align incentives and codes with state regulations to minimize net water use for all new buildings.

 

POLICIES

  1. Reduce water demand. Equipment will meet EPA Water-Sense standards and landscaping will be designed to accommodate and thrive on rainfall and minimum irrigation.
  2. Produce alternative water sources. Provide incentives for building systems that harvest rainwater, stormwater, or sump-pump (foundation) water, greywater, refrigeration condensate, rejected water from water purification systems, reclaimed wastewater, and other reuse strategies.
  3. Allow wastewater treatment for reuse or injection to original water supply. Where possible, allow a closed loop water system within a watershed or aquifer that supplies water to the building and infiltrate stormwater to the original water supply.
  4. Stormwater retained on-site and infiltrated back to groundwater. Require low-impact development practices, also called green infrastructure, that use landscape features to minimize water loss due to runoff and allow water to infiltrate, which may include bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavement

PROGRAM

Net Zero Water Building Strategies Program Provide a clearinghouse of strategies for achieving a closed loop system for buildings where a water supply is located within the watershed or aquifer or where an alternative water supply can offset the use of freshwater.

 

GOAL I – Encourage building designs and materials for fire resistance.

POLICIES

  1. Allow non-standard fire-resistant designs. Streamline permitting for natural, fire-resistant building materials, including cob, adobe, rammed earth and wattle of existing sticks, or bamboo covered with a daub mixture of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and/or straw.
  2. Assure more preventive consultation about closing ducts where embers may enter and vegetation around homes that is not so flammable.

 

GOAL J – Assure fire protection and emergency services in rural and mountain areas.

 

GOAL K – Eliminate racist, discriminatory or otherwise unfair and illegal harassment, excessive force or brutality by sheriff deputies.

POLICIES

  1. Sheriff accountability and citizen review. Establish an outside Citizen Oversight Committee to receive and investigate allegations of harassment of the homeless, mentally ill, recovering alcoholics and drug users, women, youth or anyone based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status.
  2. Excessive use of force. Investigate incidents of significant use of force or police brutality for potential internal discipline.

Events

VC350 Climate Hub Recommended Policy Input from Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology for Agriculture Chapter of GPU

 Input for Policies Agriculture Chapter – VC2040 General Plan Update

 

GOAL A – Engage land managers in the statewide carbon sequestration accounting framework for tracking storage of above and below-ground carbon.

 

POLICIES

  1. Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment Tools. Collaborate with state agencies and non-governmental organizations to deploy appropriate available tools and protocols  for defining baselines, setting targets, and measuring changes in carbon sequestration.
  2. Maps. Develop plans and strategies using maps to identify vegetation densities layered with carbon density and site suitability.
  3. Collaborate to set and track targets. Form partnerships with Cal State University Channel Islands, University of Santa Barbara, Ventura County Community Colleges and non-governmental organizations to plan and evaluate the system for setting and tracking 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, coastal wetland and riparian habitat, and carbon-dense deep-rooted perennials to protect the county’s existing and expanding carbon sinks.
  5. Adaptive management. Use a plan-do-reflect-improve process to meet carbon sequestration targets with a monitoring program to detect the needed information for evaluation that links back to the plan and monitoring, tuning in to new technologies and climate protection science to find continuously higher-level, more comprehensive goals that match the scale, variety and unpredictability 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

The following is the list of land types used by the state’s Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment tool for the purpose of defining existing and potential carbon sinks with partial data filled in for Ventura County:

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?
Barren

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
Non-woody 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 farmland, grazing land, and other non-forested, non-wetland, natural and working lands

POLICIES

  1. Obtain baseline data for above and below-ground carbon on farm and grazing land. Set and track achievement of targets for carbon sequestration on working lands, prioritizing study and truth-testing on rangeland carbon farming, silvopasture, multistrata agroforestry, and other enterprises with high carbon density.
  2. Managed grazing as a beneficial use. Categorize as a beneficial use those acreages where managed grazing is practiced to slowly build a soil-carbon sponge.
  3. Partnerships. Facilitate local partnerships to study carbon sequestration achievement to verify targets and strategies for expanding carbon sinks on working lands.
  4. Science-based technical assistance. Study and promote knowledge and understanding about best practices for building soil-carbon sponges, including on-site water harvesting, green growth, and healthy soils in integrated natural systems.
  5. Reward carbon farmers. Collaborate with stakeholders to create a program to reward land managers who preserve and enhance natural and working lands including trees, vegetation, and soils to reach their potentials for carbon sequestration..
  6. 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 provide a vital role in small water cycles.

PROGRAMS

Healthy Soils Initiative – a collaboration of state agencies led by California Department of Food and Agriculture 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 – Promote biological pest management.

POLICIES

  1. Eliminate county use of toxic pesticides. The County will not buy or promote the use of (Danger Label)  pesticides.
  2. Training in biological pest control. The Agriculture Commission will sponsor an on-going training program for biological pest control for all crops grown in the county.
  3. Biological pest control expertise and technical assistance at all agriculture teaching, research and extension institutions. The Ventura County Cooperative Extension, 4-H, Master Gardeners, Ventura County Community College District and the School Districts will employ people who can teach biological control and help practitioners release the potential of natural systems on farms, landscapes, and gardens.

PROGRAM

San Franciso Integrated Pest Management Ordinance of 1996

Cities of Irvine and Santa Monica

 

GOAL D – Expand and localize the agricultural economy

 

POLICIES

  1. Value-added processing. Support new local processing of food, fiber, and flowers.
  2. Production and processing of and manufacturing with industrial hemp. Advocate for and explore the development of industrial hemp through education about the health, environmental, and economic benefits and building a community of individuals, businesses and organizations with production, processing fiber and seeds, manufacturing into food, paper, fabric and construction materials, and marketing know-how.
  3. Tourism. Promote rural, ag and nature tourism that includes resorts, farmers’ markets, tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to enjoy nature.

JUSTIFICATION

Industrial hemp has been prohibited for irrational reasons over seventy years. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Senate Bill 566, Chapter 398, Statutes of 2013) was signed into law to authorize the commercial production of industrial hemp in California. The Act became effective on January 1, 2017, due to a provision in the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64, November 2016).

As directed by this Act, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing a program to administer this new law and administer a registration process, fee structure, regulations, and other administrative details as necessary to provide for the commercial production of industrial hemp in accordance with the Act.

 

GOAL E – All organic waste streams will be processed for compost or mulch.

POLICIES

  1. Mandatory recycling or composting of food and yard waste. 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

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. Property tax waiver. Waive property tax for land that is farmed according to the Regenerative Agriculture Certification Practices and/or the USDA Certified Organic Program for the first three years of transition to and first three years after the land is certified for the first time.
  3. Marketing local regenerative products.. Promote local, regenerative food and ag products
  4. Farmers’ Markets. Promote local farmers’ markets to provide communities with local food grown by regenerative practices.
  5. 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
  6. Teach farming skills in public schools. Offer a Regenerative Farming Technology course in the high schools.

PROGRAM

Regenerative Agriculture Certification Program

Regenerative Farming Skills School Curriculum

Soil Foodweb Practitioner Certification Program

Certified Farmers’ Markets

Food Forward and other gleaning organizations

Food to Compost/Food to Energy Program (example 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 with at least one in each of the four major geographic areas of the county 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

350 VC Climate Hub Suggestions for Policies – Water Resources Chapter of General Plan Update

350 Ventura County Climate Hub Suggestions for Policies

Chapter 10 – Water Resources, General Plan Update 

Includes Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Management, because the climate cannot be stabilized without drawing down legacy carbon already in the atmosphere and carbon cannot be sequestered without water to grow soil microbes, plants (and animals). Water is life.

GOAL A: Prevent risky development in floodplains through agreement among all jurisdictions toward the required zoning and setbacks specific to each watershed to prevent inappropriate development in floodplains and relocate at-risk development avoiding investment in new or rebuilt levees that will not hold up under new flood predictions.

POLICIES

  1. Anticipate increasingly extreme weather due to climate change with increasing state restrictions and plan for worst case scenarios to assure that development in floodplains does not rely on levees or put human life at risk.
  2. Conduct a comparative cost-benefit analysis of rebuilding levees versus relocating homes and businesses and make cost-effective decisions for avoiding flood risks.

Background/Justification – The cities in Ventura County are in need of guidance and oversight to stop approving development in floodplains, particularly along the Santa Clara River. The Santa Clara River levee rebuild (SCR1) will cost the county $42 million and the engineer said it will be sacrificed in a 100 year event. It makes more sense to invest that money to slow the flow of upland sources and move the inappropriate development out of harm’s way.

 

GOAL B: Restore small water cycles in eroded and desertified landscapes and open spaces to recharge aquifers, maintain the integrity of ecosystems, support restoration of soil-carbon sponge and revegetation with perennials and grasses that sequester carbon, preserve the physical integrity of receiving waters by managing stormwater runoff at or close to the source, reduce flooding and stream channel degradation from erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, increase water supply, assure protected habitat for re-establishment of trout and beaver, and enhance the recreational and aesthetic value of natural resources.

POLICIES

  1. Provide a collaborative framework representing all stakeholders and authorities to develop a low impact development plan with small and large scale water restoration projects.
  2. Maximize groundwater aquifer recharge through stormwater management to supply a minimum of 30 percent of total water use.
  3. Encourage development of upland watershed management plans that rely on local resources and labor, natural cycles, innovative treatment techniques and energy-saving methods to convert watershed processes toward bioretention, infiltration and interflow that support natural and vegetative covers and allow the natural supply of sediment to reach receiving waters.
  4. Promote best practices for restoration of small water cycles across jurisdictions that identify sites suitable for a wide range of small cumulative on-site water management measures including upland catchments and diversions to restore small water cycles that support increased vegetation for carbon sequestration, beaver, and movement of trout.
  5. Require pervious or permeable pavements on all appropriate new parking lots over some minimum size.
  6. Set low impact development goals and strategies such as disconnected hydrologic flow paths, reduction of impervious areas, functional landscaping, and grading to maintain natural hydrologic functions that existed prior to development, such as interception, shallow surface storage, infiltration, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge.

PROGRAMS

Rain for Climate Program. To help achieve a countywide Climate Action Plan goal to draw down a target amount of CO2 equivalent GHGs, develop and promote specific, common-sense recommendations for water conservation, to provide a best-practices repository for stormwater management and rainwater harvesting, stories, tips and successes building on experiences of community members that have implemented water conservation and soil-carbon sequestration solutions, tools and guidelines for stormwater and rainwater harvesting solutions, and learning experiences for individuals, organizations.

Business Carbon Sink Collaborative . To facilitate learning and achievement among businesses toward water conservation and carbon sequestration objectives by providing justifications for water conservation and carbon sequestration as economic opportunities and investments and by providing current lists of vendors and products for residential and small-scale commercial water conservation, stormwater management, and revegetation projects.

Justification-Deforestation, erosion, urbanization and the the conventional management of working and natural lands damages natural land-based water cycles. California is experiencing a chain reaction of degraded open space, depletion of groundwater, decimation of vegetation, effects from wildfires and extreme heat, increased albedo effect, and a major contributor to global warming. A global program is required beyond the cessation of greenhouse gas emissions to restore local hydrological cycles with practices that build the soil-carbon sponge to support perennial vegetation.

 

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.

POLICIES

  1. 30 percent of water to be supplied by groundwater. Provide leadership and facilitation for a countywide program to increase groundwater recharge using storm water and dry-weather runoff to assure groundwater basins supply at least 30% of total water use.
  2. Maximum 10 percent imported water. Limit imported water to 10 percent of total water use countywide and encourage desalinization to replace imported water as it becomes more scarce from the drought impacts of climate change.
  3. 40 percent of water to be supplied by recycled wastewater. Maximize the reuse of recycled water to achieve at least 40% of total water use to enhance reliability and reduce dependence on imported water.
  4. Tiered pricing. Require water districts to adopt appropriately configured tiered pricing structures combined with water budgets for water suppliers to reduce water demand over the long term, not just during periods of drought, to curtail wasteful activities and encourage investment in technologies that use less water, and water conservation.
  5. Track water use by account and provide technical assistance to high users. Establish average use standards per account based on 75 gallons per capita per day and incentivize compliance through billing and use monitoring with provision of on-site technical assistance as needed for accounts that quarterly exceed 30% of average water use or annually exceed 10% of average water use.
  6. Use reduction goal. Set target for water use reduction to exceed the per capita set by SB X7-7 Conservation Act of 2009 (standard of 20% compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020).
  7. Water use reduction in new construction. Require adoption of voluntary CALGreen Tier 1 water-efficiency measures for new construction that includes mandatory stub out for greywater.
  8. Water conservation for existing buildings. Set countywide target for water conservation in existing buildings at 30% water use  (compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020) by implementing a program for water efficiency retrofit according to CALGreen Tier 1 water efficiency measures.
  9. Storage of rain water. Best practices will be disseminated for storage of rainwater from roots in barrels, tanks and cisterns.
  10. Non-fee based permitting process for rainwater capture and harvesting tanks, cisterns and other projects.
  11. Vector control education. Knowledge and non-toxic methods of mosquito control will be disseminated to minimize breeding in stored water.
  12. Curb cuts and rain gardens in new and existing developments. Street grading will be towards cub cuts and rain gardens for water storage catchments to prevent storm water from leaving the street. The county will cooperate with neighborhoods to regrade and install curb cuts and rain gardens, especially in the middle of culdesacs.
  13. Reduce water use for toilet flushing. Provide rebates for equipment and installation of EPA Water Sense certified toilets, urine diversion toilets (UDT), urine diversion flush toilets (UDFT), and urine diversion dry toilets (UDDT) and dry toilets to reduce or eliminate water use for flushing.
  14. Equipment will be installed so as not to waste water. Condensate from refrigeration and surplus water from filter systems will be put to use for landscaping.
  15. Regenerative farming. Promote use of regenerative organic farming methods to reduce toxins and sediment loads of surface waters and reduce water needs.
  16. No potable water in oil and gas production. Potable water will not be used for oil and gas production.
  17. Protect water from oil and gas production. Protect and preserve surface, stream, wetland, and groundwater resources from oil and gas drilling and produced wastewater transport, disposal or injection.
  18. Capture stormwater. Require that new development capture stormwater for onsite use to extent possible.
  19. Brackish water must be protected from pollution because it is easier to desalinate than sea water. Decontaminate or desalinate brackish aquifers in order to minimize need for imported water.

PROGRAMS

Optimum Basin Management Program (OBMP). A comprehensive countywide monitoring program for surface water, groundwater, and land subsidence, storm water and dry-weather runoff recharge improvements, salt and nutrient management, water quality improvements, the recovery of impaired groundwater for beneficial use, conjunctive use, pollution prevention from wastewater from oil production, and safe yield management to avoid overdraft.

Our Water World. Raise awareness of the connection between pesticide use and water quality and provide information to consumers at the point-of-purchase about integrated pest management (IPM) and less-toxic alternatives that do not pollute water. Provide community outreach / educational events in the stores to promote the availability of less toxic methods and products. Train store personnel in principles of regenerative organic strategies and sales techniques for less toxic products.

Water Demand Offset Expand amount of recycled water through an offset program like the program of Soquel Creek Water District.

Water Wise Survey Program

Landscape Rebate Program

Rebates on Efficient Appliances

Graywater Laundry to Landscape
Private Well Meters
Custom and Measured Rebate Program for Businesses
Meters and Submeters
Submeters
Private Well Meters
Irrigation Equipment Upgrades

California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)

Irrigation system evaluation program

Drip and sprinkler irrigation scheduling calculators

Free material and equipment program: shower heads and timers, bathroom and kitchen aerators, pre-rinse sprayers (for homes and businesses),Table Tents for Restaurants “Drinking Water By Request”, Hotel “Linen Reuse” Cards

JUSTIFICATION

Using water consumes energy to clean and transport water and to handle wastewater. 60 percent of water use occurs indoors, primarily for toilets, clothes washers, showers, and faucets. Low-flush toilets and efficient washing machines can reduce water use by 19 and 17 percent respectively. Low-flow faucets and showerheads and efficient dishwashers can also contribute. Newer technologies can reduce water use within homes by 45 percent.

30 percent of home water use occurs outdoors, while another 10 percent is lost to leaks. Water use for irrigation can be reduced or eliminated by using captured rainwater, shifting to plants that do not require it, installing drip irrigation, or turning off the spigot entirely. Rebates on purchases of efficient appliances and fixtures, can encourage voluntary action.

 

GOAL D: Increase recycled water and greywater use

POLICIES

  1. Increase the use of recycled water. Increase over 2002 levels by at least XX acre-feet per year (afy) by 2020 and by at least xx afy by 2030.
  2. Increase the use of stormwater. Increase over use in 2007 by at least xx afy by 2020 and by at least xx afy by 2030.
  3. Industrial wastewater dischargers. Ensure that dischargers are managed to enhance the ability of water recycling plants to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements; to protect the public, the environment, personnel and facilities; and recovery of wastewater treatment operations and maintenance costs.
  4. Subsidize measures to stop stormwater runoff. Federal fees for discharging stormwater will be spent in cooperation with neighborhoods to capture and harvest storm water in appropriate  and use revenues to incentivize capture and pay for onsite treatment.
  5. Closed loop for industrial effluents. Ensure high quality reclaimed water by requiring closed loop for industrial effluents.
  6. Incentivize use of greywater.  Reduce use of potable water for residential non-potable uses.
  7. Recognize urine in the same category as greywater. Urine is sterile and contains plant nutrients so it must be allowable to collected urine in

Urine Diversion Toilets to combine with other greywater for subsurface fertigation.

PROGRAM

Pretreatment and Source Control. Assure collection of wastewater to regional water recycling plants or to a Non-Reclaimable Wastewater System (NRW System) that exports industrial wastewater laden with high strength pollutants making the water not suitable for recycling at this time and assure that it is not stored near other sources of water.

BACKGROUND/JUSTIFICATIONS

With a local supply portfolio balanced among recycled water, captured stormwater, and groundwater, the county will survive catastrophes.

Pumping less water from faraway sources has environmental benefits. Moving water across the state uses huge amounts of energy. Leaving more water in the Delta, Owens Valley and the Colorado River watershed reduces ecological impacts and the carbon footprint of our water supplies.

Jurisdictions pay millions of dollars annually in federal permits for allowing stormwater runoff. By investing in helping neighborhoods create soil-carbon sponges along streets, those fees are reduced, water is returned to the aquifer and vegetation is supported that sequesters carbon. Culdesacs are generally 80 to 100 feet in diameter allowing space for large rain gardens that require regrading but do not require altering curbside sidewalks. Collaboration should be facilitated with homeowners who want to prevent flooding by redesigning the drainage on their street for stormwater catchment.

 

GOAL E:  Increase water and wastewater efficiency in new developments and retrofits

 POLICIES

  1. Develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for more resilient, diversified and regenerative support of the county’s water resources.
  2. Adopt an Ordinance for Water Efficient New Development http://wdl.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/landscapeordinance/
  3. Adopt Greywater-Ready Building and Safety requirements that assure that landscapes are more fire-resistant and defensible in a fire.Greywater-ready-buildings-model-ordinance.pdf
  4. Provide education about how to realistically size and design rainwater harvesting systems, for emergency rooftop irrigation in high-fire risk areas or for emergency back-up to offset potable irrigation demand. supplemental source to off-set potable irrigation demand.

 

GOAL F:  Reduce water consumption

 POLICIES

  1. Exceed water use reduction goal per capita set by SB X7-7 Conservation Act of 2009 (standard of 20% compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020) establishing a countywide reduction target of 30% water use by implementing a program to retrofit existing buildings to achieve higher levels of water efficiency.
  2. Require adoption of voluntary CALGreen Tier 1 water-efficiency measures for new construction.
  3. Incentivize renovation of existing buildings to achieve higher levels of water efficiency; encourage existing buildings to retrofit with CALGreen Tier 1 water efficiency measures. Reduce water used in new construction by 100% in residential and 50% in non-residential development.
  4. Reduce water used in existing non-residential development by 10%.

 

GOAL G:   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. Install solar energy arrays at all water and wastewater plants.

 

Education Take Action

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

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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