Lawsuit Over General Plan Ignoring Global Warming Settled

<p>A widely watched lawsuit by California's attorney general against the state's fastest growing county over the issue of inventorying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the update of a county general plan has been settled.</p>
August 26, 2007, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Members of the (San Bernardino) county Board of Supervisors announced on Tuesday (August 21) the end of litigation by Attorney General Edmund "Jerry" Brown, who filed suit against the county in April, alleging that its general plan didn't include direction on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The county will work with the state in decreasing emissions through conforming county land-use decisions and operational policies to a reduction target goal - all at an estimated price tag of $500,000."

"This is a landmark agreement," Brown said. "This (emissions) problem is so large that no one county can solve it by itself. This plan is extremely innovative."

"That agreement gives the county 30 months to add a policy to its general plan for reducing greenhouse emissions.

It also gives the same amount of time for adopting an inventory plan for compiling emissions data from 1990, current emissions data, sources of current emissions, projected emissions through 2020, a reduction goal and mitigation measures to meet that goal.

There are no official state guidelines on how counties should approach the issue of global warming, but the agreement helps chart a new path within the issue, said David Wert, county spokesman."

"It sounds like (the attorney general) sued San Bernardino County to put all of the other counties and cities on notice that local governments should address global warming," Wert said.

As far as the attorney general's duties, that office will be responsible for assisting the county in recouping the estimated costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the agreement states. It will give advice on projects and assist the county with any legal challenges to its effort."

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Published on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 in The San Bernardino Sun
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