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  • Writer's pictureWTS Sacramento

Recap - May 2019 Lunch Program

On Tuesday, May 7th, WTS Sacramento welcomed Bill Higgins and Tanisha Taylor from the California Association of Councils of Governments (CALCOG) whom gave a policy update.

Bill first described that CALCOG is a “nonprofit, social welfare organization formed to serve regional governments” and is made up of 47 regional entities formed of Councils of Governments (COG’s), Regional Transportation Planning Authorities, Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Transportation Commissions and Authorities. This year, CALCOG has created an inaugural California Academy for Regional Leaders program which is open to mid-career professionals working in regional governments in California who want to further their career working for regional government. For more information, click here. Bill also mentioned an upcoming bill that would encourage increased density in Transit Supportive Development areas.

Tanisha then spoke on the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicle Rule. This pending policy would freeze the national fuel efficiency standards at the 2020 levels through to 2026. The policy would also repeal the California Air Resources Board’s authority to set higher fuel efficiency standards and revokes their authority to implement the Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) and Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) mandates, which were implemented to meet the state’s “unique air quality challenges.” Subsequently, this affects the quality of California’s air over time. Tanisha described that the federal government sets the air quality standards and that California’s air quality impact model “EMFAC” uses assumptions of future vehicle fleets based on ZEV and ACC mandates tools to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. If the SAFE policy is passed, then California transportation agencies would be unable to demonstrate that projects conform to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) Federal thresholds. Billions of project dollars could be at risk, including the San Francisco Transbay Terminal project and SB1 projects funded by Trade Corridor Enhancement and Solutions for Congested Corridors programs.

For more information on the proposed SAFE policy and on other policies and bills in state legislation, visit CALCOG’s website here.

Thank you, Bill and Tanisha, for this informative presentation on a legislative policy that affects all of California.

Bill Higgins, Lauren Reinking and Tanisha Taylor

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