Owner/Client: California Air Resources Board (ARB)

The 33-Percent Renewable Electricity Standard Regulation is a key strategy for California’s implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The Renewable Electricity Standard establishes the framework to require Independently Owned Utilities and Publicly Owned Utilities to achieve 33 percent of their electrical generation from qualifying renewable sources. For this project, Ascent provided CEQA strategic support and review to assist the California Air Resources Board (ARB) with the preparation of a Functionally Equivalent Document (FED) under ARB’s CEQA certified regulatory program. The FED, which was written as the equivalent of an EIR, examined the potential environmental impacts related to reasonably foreseeable compliance approaches by covered (i.e., regulated) utilities, such as effects of developing expanded renewable electricity generation and additional transmission capacities, much of which is expected to occur in the California desert. The FED addressed the reasonably foreseeable environmental impacts resulting from projects intended to provide Renewable Electricity Credits pursuant to the regulation. Key issues included a landscape-scale assessment of biological and physical resources impacts. Also, the potential for out-of-state environmental impacts was examined.