County, cities team up in greenhouse gas fight

Six cities and the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District have joined forces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the next year, Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and Paso Robles will prepare climate action plans. These plans will help the local governments comply with state goals of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global climate change.

In order to maximize public involvement in the process, the group has launched a new website, www.centralcoastghgplanning.com. Four public workshops are also in planning process.

“Our goal is to have as inclusive and transparent a process as possible to make sure that all voices in our community are heard,” said Aeron Arlin-Genet, planning manager for the air district.

The goal is to have climate action plans ready for adoption by the individual city councils by June 2013. The work is funded by PG&E, Southern California Gas Co. and the air district’s mitigation grant fund and will be led by Rincon Consultants, a local environmental planning firm.

Several state laws require that the state and local governments reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One law establishes a target of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Climate action plans are also intended to lower energy costs, reduce air and water pollution and spur economic development and downtown revitalization.