Notice of Preparation for an Environmental Impact Report 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/ Sustainable Communities Strategy

Notice is hereby given that the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) will be the lead agency in partnership with Council of San Benito County Governments (SBtCOG), the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) and the Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the 2045 Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). In addition, SBtCOG, SCCRTC and TAMC will be responsible agencies for the 2045 MTP/SCS EIR, and prepare the 2045 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for San Benito County, 2045 RTP for Santa Cruz County and 2045 RTP for Monterey County, respectively. The 2045 MTP/SCS is the metropolitan long‐range transportation plan for the three counties and will compile transportation projects and programs included in the County RTPs. Pursuant to §15082 of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines, AMBAG is soliciting input on the EIR scope and content.

Project Description: As the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the tri‐county region of Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties, AMBAG is charged with developing an MTP/SCS. The 2045 MTP/SCS is the metropolitan long‐range transportation plan for the three counties. SBtCOG, SCCRTC, TAMC are the state‐designated Regional Transportation Planning Agencies (RTPAs) for San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties, respectively. Each RTPA will prepare a county‐level long‐range Regional Transportation Plan that is consistent with the AMBAG 2045 MTP/SCS. The EIR will serve as the Program EIR for the AMBAG 2045 MTP/SCS and the Program EIR for the RTPs prepared by the RTPAs for San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties.

The 2045 MTP/SCS is used to guide the development of the Regional and Federal Transportation Improvement Programs, as well as other transportation programming documents and plans. The MTP/SCS outlines the region’s goals and policies for meeting current and future mobility needs, providing a foundation for transportation decisions by local, regional, and State officials that are ultimately aimed at achieving a coordinated and balanced transportation system.

The SCS component of the MTP is required by California Senate Bill 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008 (SB 375). SB 375 mandates regional greenhouse gas reduction targets for passenger vehicles and, pursuant to that law, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has established 2020 and 2035 GHG reduction targets for each region covered by one of the state’s MPOs. AMBAG is required to prepare an SCS that demonstrates how GHG reduction targets could feasibly be met through integrated land use, housing, and transportation planning..

Project Location: San Benito, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, and all incorporated cities and unincorporated areas contained therein.

Probable Environmental Effects to be Addressed in the EIR: The 2045 MTP/SCS EIR will analyze the potential for significant environmental effects for the following resource topics: Aesthetics/visual resources, agricultural resources, air quality and health impacts/risks, biological resources, climate change/greenhouse gases, cultural and historic resources, energy, geology/soils, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology/water quality, land use and planning, noise, population and housing, transportation, tribal cultural resources, wildfire, cumulative impacts, and growth inducing impacts.

 

Comment Period: Please submit comments no later than February 14, 2020 to Heather Adamson at AMBAG, 24580 Silver Cloud Court, Monterey, CA 93940 or to hadamson@ambag.org.

 

Scoping Meetings: AMBAG will host three public scoping meetings to solicit input on the scope and content of the EIR. The date, time and location of the meetings are as follows:

 

  • In Santa Cruz on January 22, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Live Oak Community Room – Simpkins Center – 979 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
  • In Hollister on January 23, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the San Benito County Board of Supervisors Chambers – 481 4th Street, Hollister, CA
  • In Monterey on January 29, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Marina Library Community Room – 190 Seaside Circle, Marina, CA

For more information, visit www.ambag.org or call (831) 883-3750.