CEQA Planning

Air Quality CEQA Review And Resources for New Land Use Development

Indirect Source Review Guidelines

The California Environmental Quality Act requires public agencies to take responsibility for protecting the environment.  The general public and responsible/commenting agencies such as the air district are provided an opportunity to review and submit comments pertaining to the project to the Lead Agency (typically the city or county planning agency) prior to project approval by their governing board.  In regulating public or private projects, agencies are expected to avoid or minimize environmental damage. The purpose of an environmental review is to identify the significant effects of a project on the environment, identify alternatives to the project, and indicate the manner in which significant impacts can be mitigated or avoided. To this end, the District developed Indirect Source Review Guidelines to serve as a resources to lead agencies in order to estimate project air pollutant emissions, identify a project's air quality significant effects, and select the best available mitigation measures designed to avoid or reduce the air quality environmental impacts of transportation and land-use activities.

The Amendments to Indirect Source Review Guidelines were adopted by the FRAQMD Board of Directors on June 7, 2010. 

Download entire document:

            Or download each chapter individually


State and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (AAQS), Designations, and Plans

Table of California and National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Monitoring data for Feather River AQMD monitors is available at the ARB website ADAM.  There are two monitoring stations in the Feather River AQMD but only the Yuba City-Almond Street monitor is indicative of air quality conditions where the population resides.  The second monitor is located on top of the South Butte in the Sutter Buttes mountain range and was sited to measure transport ozone from populated areas into the Northern Sacramento Valley.

The District has several different planning areas.  All of the areas use the same Indirect Source Review Guidelines (above) and the same Thresholds of Significance.  For NEPA assessments, general conformity thresholds and de minis thresholds vary depending on the NAAQS designations. Get Area Designations for the different regions in FRAQMD here:

Please see the Air Quality Plans page for Plans adopted by the Feather River AQMD.


Mitigation Measures for Projects within Yuba and Sutter Counties

The District requires that all projects submit a completed Fugitive Dust Control Plan prior to beginning work and review the FRAQMD Rules and Regulations Statement for New Development:


In addition, projects that exceed the operation thresholds of significance should implement all feasible measures on the Best Available Mitigation Measures (BAMM) list:


Another resource for mitigation measures is Quantifying GHG Mitigation Measures by CAPCOA.


 Information related to Mitigation, Vegetation and Air Quality

ARB presentation on Strategies to Reduce Near Roadway Air Pollution Exposure

To address air quality concerns in landscaping activities, Low OFP trees and shrubs are preferred that are also California native, drought-resistant, and low or non-allergenic. Use the SelecTree for California web site database to aid in the determination of other favorable tree traits.


Approved Models

The California Emissions Estimator Model (CalEEMod) is approved for use by the FRAQMD.  CalEEMod is free and available to download at: http://caleemod.com/

The Roadway Construction Emissions Model (in MS Excel - 1.8 Mb) is available at the SMAQMD web site to assist Type II (construction phase only) project proponents with determining the emission impacts of their projects.

The FRAQMD adopted Policy 9.2 regarding the use of other models to estimate emissions performed under CEQA/NEPA.


Indirect Source Fee for New Residential/Commercial/Industrial Land Uses

All new residential, commercial, and industrial land uses in Yuba and Sutter counties are subject to the Indirect Source Fee.  Some agencies collect the fee during as part of the building permit process.  Other agencies may direct you to FRAQMD to pay the fee directly and then you must retain your receipt as proof of payment.  Please contact FRAQMD for questions regarding the fee, or refer to the documents below:

If you think your building project may be exempt from the Indirect Source Fee, please visit the FRAQMD office for a waiver form to take to the local agency.


Permit Clearance Form for New Businesses

California Government Code section 65850.2 prohibits cities from issuing an occupancy permit to a business without clearance from the local air quality agency.  The FRAQMD developed a checklist to determine if you need to obtain clearance for new businesses in Yuba or Sutter counties.