U.S. Court Of Appeals Rules 'Sprawl Fee' Lawful

A U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a 2008 District Court ruling allowing a regional air quality district to manage land use for the improvement of air quality. CA's Central Valley Air Dist. now has a lawful Indirect Source Review or sprawl fee rule.

The 2005 air quality rule addresses new development, charging proportionately for the amount of new vehicle trips that can be expected. Smart growth projects have lower fees than sprawl-oriented ones, hence the term 'sprawl fee'. The California State Supreme Court refused to hear the homebuilder's petition in January.

"This a long-awaited, welcome decision by the court, and I'm hoping that this will be the end of it," said Seyed Sadredin, executive director of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. "We are eager to continue working with valley developers to clean up our air."

It is not known if the National Association of Home Builders will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thanks to E&E Publishing - Greenwire

Full Story: Court upholds Calif. air regulator's pollution fee



Irvin Dawid's picture

Construction aspect of new development was focus of appeal

Thanks to today's SF Chronicle, I realize that I missed an important part of the court ruling (pg. 5/28). Emissions from new developments come in two categories:
"The first are 'construction equipment emissions', emissions of NOx and PM10 that come from construction equipment of greater than 50 horsepower “used or associated with the development project.”
"The second sort of emissions are 'operational emissions,' which, as the name suggests, are those emissions that come from a development once it is up and running."
"In this appeal (National Association of Home Builders) challenges only the Rule’s regulation of construction equipment emissions, not its regulation of operational emissions"

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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