Brown Announces San Diego Airport Emissions Agreement

Thursday, May 8, 2008
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SAN DIEGO--California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that the San Diego Airport is taking “a key leadership role” in the fight against global warming by agreeing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its major airport expansion.

“Under this agreement, the San Diego airport will play a key leadership role in helping California meet its aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Attorney General Brown who entered into the agreement today. “This agreement is another example of how, in the absence of federal action, local government is leading the fight against global warming,” Brown added.

“This agreement underscores the Airport Authority’s commitment to sustainability in overseeing airport operations and capital developments at Lindbergh Field,” said Alan D. Bersin, Chairman of the Airport Authority Board. “And we’re proud to be one of the first major airports in the country to have adopted a comprehensive Sustainability Policy – in February of this year – which also reinforces our commitment to becoming a more sustainable organization.”

The San Diego Airport is the busiest single-runway airport in the nation. Passenger travel at the airport is expected to grow approximately 2.8% per year for the next 25 years. To accommodate this growth, the airport is planning to construct ten additional gates, new overnight jet parking, expanded taxiways and a proposed 5,000 space parking structure.

In an effort to reduce some of the emissions from this expansion, the airport has agreed to incorporate measures, such as green building certification and alternative energy airport shuttles, into its thirty-year master plan. Some of the measures that the airport will adopt include:

• Groundside power at new and refurbished gates, hangars and cargo facilities to allow airplanes on the ground to use electricity without having to run on-board engines which emit diesel particulate, NOx and greenhouse gases.
• Replacement of aircraft pushback tractors, upon the end of their useful life, with electric or alternative-fuel vehicles.
• Transition of airport shuttles to electric or alternative-fuel vehicles.
• Use of cool roofs, solar panels and cool pavement for new buildings and paved areas.
• Assurance that new terminal facilities will obtain a green building certification from a third party appraiser.

The airport will also inventory all greenhouse gas emissions attributable to aircraft ground movements and commit to recommending ways to reduce those emissions 20% by 2015.

Under federal law, only the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration have authority to regulate the emissions from aircraft. In December, Brown filed a petition asking the EPA to regulate aircraft greenhouse gases but the agency has refused to take any action.

The Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, requires California to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, but the rules and market mechanisms will not take effect until 2012. Attorney General Brown has worked with local governments and businesses across California to help these entities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions thereby making it easier for the state to reach its reduction target.

Last year, Brown reached a landmark settlement with San Bernardino County which established a greenhouse gas reduction plan that identifies sources of emissions and sets reduction targets. Brown also reached an agreement with ConocoPhillips which offsets greenhouse gases attributable to an oil refinery expansion in Contra Costa County. The Port of Los Angeles also reached an agreement with the attorney general which identifies and reduces greenhouse gas emissions generated from port operations.

Attorney General Brown frequently updates the California Department of Justice Website to provide information that helps local agencies join the fight against global warming:

Brown’s Memorandum of Understanding with the San Diego Airport Authority is attached.

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