The California Air Resources Board has released very cursory greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets for the state's 18 metropolitan planning organizations.

Although draft greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions targets under SB 375 are due June 30, detailed targets will not be proposed until August. The targets, scheduled for final adoption in September, are intended to guide sustainable communities strategies that the MPOs must adopt during coming years. 

The air board staff lumped the 18 MPOs into three groups: the four big urban MPOs (Southern California Association of Government, San Diego Association of Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Sacramento Area Council of Governments), the eight MPOs that each cover one county in the San Joaquin Valley, and the remaining six.

Under the plan outlined at the June 24 Air Resources Board meeting, the big four MPOs must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks by 5% to 10% per capita by 2020. 

Every other target at this point amounts to a "placeholder" until further study and public outreach is completed. The placeholders are based largely on what MPOs say they will be able to achieve. So, for example, the placeholder reduction targets for 2020 and 2035 for the San Joaquin Valley MPOs are 1% to 7%. 

The targets are intended to account for GHG reductions solely from land use planning and transportation system improvements, and do not account for GHG reductions from low-carbon fuels, according to Lezlie Kimura, of the air board staff.

Seven public workshops on SB 375 target-setting is scheduled for July at seven different locations.