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Land Use & CEQA

San Luis Obispo County APCD CEQA Tools

CalEEMod Land Use Air Quality Emission & Mitigation Estimator Model

SLO County APCD recommends the use of CalEEMod and the 2021 CAPCOA Handbook for accomplishing air quality and mitigation assessments for new land use development.

**CalEEMod 2020.4.0 is now available. Click here for a summary of the changes and click here to the downloadable version. If you have Windows 11, click here for guidance on how to install. For questions about version 2020.4.0, click here and here. For projects that will have electricity provided by Central Coast Community Energy, click "Calculating Operational Emissions for Project Level Review" below for information about the electricity emission factors to use in the CalEEMod air quality assessment for the project. SLO County APCD also recommends that new development projects minimize their impacts using strategies and principles in the 2021 California Air Pollution Control Officers Association’s Handbook for Analyzing Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions (Mitigation), Assessing Climate Vulnerabilities, and Advancing Health and Equity.**

There is also a pending web version of the CalEEMod model that can be found here

SLO County APCD's Specific Guidance for Evaluating New Land Use Development

The SLO County APCD 2012 CEQA Air Quality Handbook defines the criteria used by the SLO County APCD when evaluating new development to determine when an air quality analysis is necessary, the type of analysis that should be performed, the significance of the impacts predicted by the analysis, and the mitigation measures to reduce overall air quality impacts. The 2017 Clarification Memo for the 2012 CEQA Air Quality Handbook provides administrative clarity on certain sections of the Handbook.

In 2021, the SLO County APCD created the following drop down information guide which captures the “spirit” of the 2012 CEQA Air Quality Handbook and the 2017 Clarification Memo while also providing administrative clarity on the two documents. The SLO County APCD then created a CEQA Training Guided Question document to help answer the air quality and greenhouse gas questions from Appendix G: Environmental Checklist Form. Additionally, the APCD hosted a Virtual CEQA Training that reviewed the information on this website, how-to use CalEEMod, and evaluating a hypothetical mixed-use project. A webinar recording and further information can be found in the "Additional Resources" section below. 

The information in the dropdowns is divided into three sections:

  • General Information, includes references to air quality regulations, policies and permit requirements which apply to all development projects in SLO County regardless of size or scope.
  • Air Quality, presenting guidance for completing air quality impact analysis and mitigation for both the construction and operation phases of a project. Quick Guides for Construction and Operational Mitigation Measures can be found in the “Comparing Construction Emissions to Thresholds and Applying Mitigation” section and the “Comparing Operational Emissions to Thresholds and Applying Mitigation” section, respectively.
  • Greenhouse Gases, which provides guidance for the analysis and mitigation of greenhouse gas impacts and should be considered in conjunction with the SLO County APCD 2021 Interim CEQA Greenhouse Gas Guidance document.