CEQA and Air Permitting Considerations for Waste/Biogas-to-Fuels Projects
Ms. Mitchell has worked in the air quality consulting field since 1994. She is based in San Diego where she provides environmental planning, permitting, and compliance support. Ms. Mitchell has prepared numerous environmental assessments and air permit applications for waste-to-energy, power, oil and gas, mixed land-use, and industrial projects throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her technical specialties include operation and assessment of air dispersion models for air quality and health risk impact assessments, evaluation of criteria pollutant, hazardous air pollutant, and greenhouse gas emissions, and meteorological data analysis. Ms. Mitchell has worked closely with local, state, and federal agency staff and participated in public and legal hearings to obtain air permits, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Notices of Determination and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Records of Decision.
Meeting the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and obtaining air permits for waste- or biogas-to-fuels projects can contribute to uncertainty, and hence be a major hurdle in getting financing and project approvals. This presentation will compare some key aspects of CEQA and air permitting and provide some tips to help projects successfully navigate between these two programs and processes. Considerations related to the level of CEQA review, maintaining consistency between CEQA documents and permits, how to address changes to the project and/or requirements during the permitting process, and addressing greenhouse gas emissions will be explored. Waste-to-fuels/energy project examples will be discussed that illustrate the importance of whole project evaluation and adequate upfront planning to smooth the CEQA and air permitting processes.