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OCTA goes green

The Orange County Sustainable Communities Strategy is part of the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By Jessica BerriePublished: July 05, 2011 11:11 AM

The Orange County Council of Governments and OCTA approved the Orange County Sustainable Communities Strategy (OC SCS), aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The strategy is part of the SB 375 state law, requiring regional sustainability planning. This is the first strategy for Orange County and one of the first in California to be completed, according to organization reps.

Orange County’s plan now goes to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) where it will be incorporated into an overall strategy for the region that includes Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernadino, Ventura and Imperial Counties. The plan will work toward an 8 percent gas emission reduction by 2020 and 13 percent by 2035. The final draft is expected in April 2012.

“The strategy is a multi-faceted approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that builds upon our efforts to support natural land restoration and protection, while at the same time providing necessary transportation improvements,” said the Orange County’s Fifth District Supervisor and OCTA Chair Patricia Bates.

More than 40 public agencies as well as community input were involved with the drafting of the plan. Included in the initiative is $40 billion in transportation improvements through 2035.

“We are confident that the OC SCS will ultimately help Southern California meet state-set emission targets while not passing down new mandates on local jurisdictions,” said Peter Herzog, chairman of the Orange County Council of Governments and mayor of Lake Forest.

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