It is comment time again as we write our future in Ventura County. Submit your recommendations for policies and programs that cut emissions, mitigate impacts, and reverse climate change and why you think this is so important. Use our Comment Letter Template that makes commenting easy! For this round with the County’s General Plan Update, we need as many people commenting as possible to strengthen our case for a stronger plan, so please share the following link in your circles.
The following are ideas you can add to your comment letter or choose your own recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere resulting in the ecosystem and societal destruction we face.
Email comments to Susan Curtis <[email protected]> by 5 pm Thursday, February 27.
Updated Climate Change Mitigation Recommendations
These are selected policies that help cut emissions and mitigate impacts from climate change as soon as possible and no later than 2045:
- Reduce oil and gas production by 40% by 2025 through higher monitoring standards and 2500 foot buffer zones near sensitive sites; reduce oil and gas production to zero by 2030 (or 2040).
- Phase-Out of Oil and Gas Production The County shall prohibit new drilling and shall regulate existing wells to assure steady closing of wells beginning near residential and commercial areas.
- Maintain Policy COS-7.8 as recommended by the Board of Supervisors, so that all newly permitted discretionary oil wells are required to collect gases and use or remove them for sale or proper disposal instead of flaring or venting. Flaring should be allowed only in cases of emergency or for testing purposes.
- Maintain Policy COS-7.7 as recommended by the Board of Supervisors, so that all newly permitted discretionary oil wells are required to convey oil and produced water via pipelines instead of trucking.
- Detect and curb methane emissions from “super-emitter” sites as identified by NASA.
- Tax oil and gas production, and related uncaptured methane to raise the needed revenues to fund urgent climate programs to replace high-emission vehicles with a priority on trucking and freight companies, fishing businesses, general contractors and K-12 schools. .
- Require a fully accountable performance bond for all new wells to cover cost of closure Cite LAT article (maybe put on website and link to it)
- Ban gas-fueled lawn and garden equipment. (Ex: City of Ojai)
- Develop and adopt building codes based on best practices for use of low embodied carbon concrete and set targets for use of low GHG concrete alternatives. Ex: Bay Area Air Quality Management District and King Co, WA.
- Encourage climate-safe and climate-resilient development through zoning reform and removal of limits on height, density, and minimum parking requirements to enable and promote walkability and a mix of uses for homes and businesses as well as parks and transit.
- Enroll residents in a program to reduce CO2 emissions in their neighborhoods. Ex: Cool Block or Transition Streets.
- Create a master local clean energy siting and funding plan for wholesale distributed solar energy plus battery storage in commercial scale projects producing the county’s energy needs by 2030.
- Provide energy efficiency benchmarking and rebates for low-income housing and renters as well as low-interest loans for small businesses to reduce energy use; assist owners of existing buildings to switch from natural gas to electricity.
- Prepare sustainable building, siting, landscaping and passive heating and cooling practice guidelines, with a priority on low-income housing, that reduce consumption of non-renewable resources and that include building-, climate-, and fire-safety features in pre-approved plans.
- Energy Efficiency to Reduce Electricity Use Use Energy Efficiency to Deliver 15% of Projected Needs for electricity in the county by 2023; and 30% by 2030.
- Efficiency Building Standards for Retrofits Prioritize energy and water efficiency building standards and work to retrofit existing buildings.
- Decarbonize County Buildings The County shall develop a county building electrification plan with the goal of eliminating natural gas use in County-owned facilities.
- Decarbonize All Building Types The County shall develop a county electrification plan that sets goals for GHG emission reductions through renewable energy. The plan will evaluate and prioritize programs for local solar, energy storage capacity and demand response (DR) that disconnects all buildings from gas service by 2050. Include incentives for deep retrofits of inefficient buildings.
- Traffic Impact Fee Mitigation Program The County shall perform a comprehensive update every two years until 2028 and then every five years to reduce single occupancy vehicles in combination with increased park and ride, carpooling and public transit.
- Create pilot parking programs at work sites that effectively charge for space or reward for not using a space (i.e. unbundled parking) to reduce single-occupancy car trips.
- Restrict development of new gas stations and promote the installation of electric car chargers
- Develop an educational campaign to support a ballot initiative for a two per cent clean transportation sales tax to fund improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, bus and train service, and incentives to replace heavy emitting transport vehicles, and not fund the widening of roads.
- At least 30,000 acre-feet per year must come from storm water capture by 2035
- All rainfall must be retained onsite in soil and reservoirs.
- Slow It. Spread It. Sink It! The County shall enforce Best Management Practices (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID) for new developments.
- Recycle all wastewater for beneficial reuse by 2035.
- Reduce potable water use per capita by 22% by 2025 and 25% by 2035: Offer incentives for water conservation features, including drought tolerant landscaping, permeable materials in standard parkway design guidelines, street trees, infiltration, greywater, and water-saving plumbing.
- Close oil and gas wells and injection wells near aquifers as a top priority.
- Create a Master Plan to develop the full potential of integrated water management to infiltrate the ground and recharge aquifers; support reforestation and restoration of watershed ecosystems; conserve and protect groundwater resources, and clean up creeks, streams, and estuaries.
- Support Santa Clara River Loop Trail and Ventura River Trail Development Plans for watershed restoration and public education.
- Plan to achieve zero waste (a suite of policies to reduce, reuse, and recycle) and no organic waste going to landfills by 2025 in concordance with state law.
- Create a master composting program for infrastructure for composting food waste for use by farmers and landscapers that use regenerative practices.
- Facilitate expanded maritime economy by demanding streamlined regulations, particularly for kelp farming that sequesters carbon dioxide.
- Inorganic Nitrogen Based Fertilizers Set benchmarks for reducing use of inorganic N fertilizer and encourage optimized use of organic and inorganic fertilizer for greatest efficiency in closed nutrient cycles, monitor for nutrient runoff from fields and encourage the use of cover crops and green manure crops to reduce or avoid nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and nutrient runoff.
- Diversified Cropping Systems Encourage farmers to include 1 – 5% of beneficial insect attracting plants in a planted crop, and other methods, such as crop rotation, perennial mowed cover crop in orchards, and integrating multiple species or varieties to enhance the biological and economic stability by spreading economic risk and buffering against pest invasions and extreme weather events, and increase carbon sequestration.
- Reward Regenerative Farmers with Digestate and Compost from Food Waste Research feasibility of a program for composting food waste for use by farmers and landscapers who use regenerative practices that sequester certified amounts of CO2.
- Climate-Friendly Food Service Require county food service operations to decrease purchase of meat and dairy products by 70% by 2023 and 90% by 2030 and encourage similar goals for hospitals, day care centers, public schools, colleges and universities, and disseminate public information to drive market shifts and consumption toward fewer and better animal products and healthier, plant-forward, sustainable food.
- Zero Waste The County shall achieve zero waste (via a suite of policies to reduce, reuse, and recycle) with no organic waste going to landfills by 2023
- Zero Waste Policy for Meetings and Events Design and implement a zero waste policy for meetings and events sponsored or permitted by the County including the Vendor Guidelines for waste minimization and surplus edible food rescue
- Compostable Take-Out Foodware Require that take-out foodware be made with material compostable in solid waste processing facilities within 60 days
- Reduce Solid Waste by Phasing Out Single-Use Plastic Evaluate how to best reduce solid waste generation per capita by at least 15% by 2030 including phasing out single-use plastics including but not limited to plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic take-out containers, and expanded polystyrene
- Ban Expanded Polystyrene Ban expanded polystyrene countywide which includes but is not limited to foodware, packaging materials, and coolers and engage with key stakeholders, including food service providers, on alternatives to expanded polystyrene products.
- Accelerate capture of legacy HFCs Enlist the public and private operators through incentives to find and destroy existing stocks of HFC’s (refrigerant gases with extremely high Global Warming Potential).
Here are links to sheets with more on cllimate mitigation for comments on the EIR as well as for writing letters to editors (LTEs):
Make Polluters Pay (raising revenues for mitigation programs)