News Analysis

Transit-Oriented Development Threatened by Air Quality Rules

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) recently released guidelines for local governments considering air emissions related to proposed construction projects. These guidelines are based on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), developed in 1970 by BAAQMD to help local governments determine potential health risks related to air quality. The new guidelines may limit developments in proximity to air pollution sources, such as highways, bus stops, and train stations.

Under the guidelines, projects producing over 1,100 metric tons of carbon emissions or sited within 1,000 feet of an air pollutant source will be required to perform pollution reduction studies. The guidelines apply to housing projects of 55 units or more, stores over 15,000 ft2, and office buildings over 53,000 ft2—while previously only much larger projects had to produce environmental impact reports.

Published August 30, 2010