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Glen Campbell March 30, 2006 Page 3

real estate and natural habitats;” and

  • “[T]he combined effects of an increase in temperatures and diminished water supply and quality threaten to alter micro-climates within the state, affect the abundance and distribution of pests and pathogens, and result in variations in crop quality and yield.” Executive Order S-3-05, June 1, 2005.

The California legislature, also recognized all of these severe impacts resulting from climate change, as well as a “projected doubling of catastrophic wildfires due to faster and more intense burning associated with drying vegetation.” (Stats. 2002, ch, 200, Section 1, subd. (c)(4), enacting Health & Saf. Code § 43018.5) In the particular realm of vehicular travel and emissions from cars and truck, the California legislature went on to recognize that “passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks are responsible for 40 percent of the total greenhouse gas pollution in the state.” (Ibid., subd. (e)(emphasis added).)

Despite the increasing attention that governments, climate scientists, environmentalists, and other members of the public are rightfully directing to the issue of climate change, OCTA does not even mention the issue in its long term transportation plan, which is meant to cover the next quarter century. The DPEIR never once mentions carbon dioxide, climate change or global warming, and mentions greenhouse gases only by passing reference, when discussing other emissions, without explaining either the importance, or the projected impacts, of greenhouse gases.

Under CEQA, an environmental impact report must identify and focus on the “significant environmental effects” of a proposed project. (Pub. Res. Code § 21100(b)(1); Cal. Code Regs., Title 14, §§ 15126(a), 15126.2(a), 15143.) “‘Significant effect on the environment’ means a substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse change in the environment.” (Pub. Res. Code § 21068). CEQA also provides that the CEQA guidelines “shall” specify certain criteria that require a finding that a project may have a significant effect on the environment:

“(1) A proposed project has the potential to degrade the quality of the environment, curtail the range of the environment, or to achieve short-term, to the disadvantage of long-term, environmental goals.

(2) The possible effects of a project are individually limited but cumulatively considerable. As used in this paragraph, "cumulatively considerable" means that the incremental effects of an individual project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects.

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