On February 3, 2020, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) awarded Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Fellows Natalie Arreaga, Vannesa Reyes and Amanda Caswell a ZEVe- Award.
GO-Biz is honoring 6 local Zero Emissions Vehicles champions throughout California for their leadership and dedication to improving the ZEV infrastructure approval process. The Fellows moved bureaucratic mountains to evaluate the Electric Vehicle Charging Station (EVCS) permitting status of every jurisdiction in Southern California, supporting GO-Biz research efforts to evaluate the State’s progress on Assembly Bill 1236 compliance. AB 1236 states that all local jurisdictions are required to adopt an ordinance for streamlining and expediting EVCS permitting, as well a checklist of all requirements needed available online.
The Fellows successfully tracked down ordinances, checklists, and all relevant information about EVCS permitting across the 6-county, 191-jurisdiction SCAG region, the largest MPO in the country. Where no online information was to be found, they took the extra step of directly contacting planners and building officials, leading to many enlightening conversations and sharing of resources. Speaking to city staff, Fellows were made aware of the obstacles local jurisdiction’s face with lack of capacity but also the excitement among the SCAG constituents not only for electric cars but the potential of hydrogen cars as well. The Fellows highlighted GO-Biz’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Permitting Guidebook, and the upcoming EV Permitting Workshop at SCAG, during their outreach to offer additional support to city staff. Their work is invaluable in making sure that Southern California is ready for the millions of ZEVs that will soon be on the road.
The Fellows next effort will be to update SCAG’s Green Region Initiative (GRI), which maps sustainability progress across the SCAG region. The GRI currently maps 11 Topics and 28 Indicators, ranging from the Affordable Housing Indicator in the Built Environment Topic to the Water Conservation Indicator in the Water Topic. They will expand upon and improve the GRI through the inclusion of their research on AB 1236 compliance, updated sustainability policy data such as Adaptation Planning, and the addition of a disadvantaged communities (DAC) layer to all GIS maps within the GRI.
The Fellows look forward to seeing GO-Biz’s completed Plug-in Electric Vehicle Charging Station Readiness map. This map tracks California’s EVCS permitting status progress by categorizing and color-coding jurisdictions as “Streamlined” (green), “Partially Streamlined” (yellow), and “Not Streamlined” (red). Currently 366 jurisdictions within California have been evaluated by GO-Biz and mapped, with only 16.9% deemed “Streamlined.” The Fellows look forward to following the State’s efforts to advance ZEV implementation across the state and watch California become entirely green.