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Land Use Regulation, Permitting & CEQA

San Luis Obispo County APCD CEQA Tools

SLO County APCD evaluates new land use development projects that are large or concerning under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to review the adequacy of the air quality and GHG analysis, the significance of the impacts predicted by the analysis, and the mitigation measures to reduce overall air quality and GHG impacts. Use the tools below to help guide your project through the CEQA process. 

Click here for Air Quality Rules & Regs

All projects, even those not subject to CEQA review, are subject to certain local, state and federal air quality rules and regulations. Review these lists of regulations to determine if they apply to the construction or operational phases of your project.

Land uses that generate air emissions may be subject to APCD permitting requirements. Review this list of land use types to determine if your project is subject to an APCD permit.

Local planning agencies and developers can use these tools to help identify when a project’s air quality and GHG impacts may be insignificant and when APCD review of a project may be required.

The SLO County APCD 2012 CEQA Air Quality Handbook defines the criteria used by the SLO County APCD when evaluating development projects, and includes administrative updates from 2017, 2021/22, and 2023 that provide clarity on certain sections of the handbook and greenhouse gas guidance.


To quantify emission impacts from new land-use developments that exceed the significance levels in the APCD screening tools, APCD recommends using CalEEMod, the California Air Pollution Control Officers’ Association (CAPCOA) web-based land use planning emissions estimator model. The CalEEMod website includes video tutorials on how to run the model, a User Guide and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and a Contact page for questions and to report bugs or issues with the model. The model includes air quality and GHG mitigation measures that are described in the 2021 CAPCOA Handbook for Analyzing GHG Reductions, Assessing Climate Vulnerabilities, and Advancing Health and Equity.