Legally Challenge the GHG Act ? 

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League of California Cities: http://www.cacities.org/Top/News/News-Articles/2012/August/ILG-Releases-New-Publication-on-SB-375

FAQ http://www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/resources__SB_375_Legal_Analysis_11-23-10.pdf

8. Is there anything that can be done if a city, county, environmental organization or other person is dissatisfied with the sustainable communities strategy or alternative planning strategy?
There are three ways sustainable communities strategy could be subject to legal challenge:

(1) SB 375 requires the sustainable communities strategy to include certain specific information. If, for example, the sustainable communities strategy fails to include “areas within the region sufficient to house all the population of the region,” then a challenge would ask a court to order the metropolitan planning organization to adopt a sustainable communities strategy that meets SB 375’s statutory requirements.

(2) SB375 requires a metropolitan planning organization to adopt a public participation plan for development of the sustainable communities strategy and alternative planning strategy that includes certain specific elements.
 If the metropolitan planning organization fails to adopt a public participation plan, or if the plan does not, for example, include “outreach efforts to encourage the active participation of a broad range of stakeholder groups in the planning process,” then a challenge would ask a court to order the metropolitan planning organization to adopt a sustainable communities strategy that meets SB 375’s statutory requirements.

(3) Prior to adopting a sustainable communities strategy, the metropolitan planning organization must quantify the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions projected to be achieved by the sustainable communities strategy and identify the difference, if any, between the amount of the reduction and the target for the region established by the state board.
 If substantial evidence in the record fails to support the metropolitan planning organization’s quantification, a challenge could be brought pursuant to section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure asking a court to order the metropolitan planning organization to rescind its findings.

7. What is the relationship between SB375 and AB 32 (the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006)?
AB 32 established the overall legal and policy framework to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The Air Resources Board may regulate sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve this goal. Sources include passenger vehicles and light trucks. The Climate Scoping Plan adopted by the Air Resources Board as part of its AB 32 duties specifically refers to SB 375 as part of the strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks.

  SB 375 is a separate law that requires metropolitan planning organizations to create strategies to achieve the state’s greenhouse reduction targets through regional transportation planning and funding. It also offers streamlined review under the California Environmental Quality Act as an incentive for project proponents and counties and cities to conform their planning decisions to the region’s strategies.  

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