Government Affairs – August 2015 Updates

Emissions Reduction – New Program

The attached regulation (R054-15I – ERC) is proposing a new, voluntary program intended to assist in growth and economic development in areas designated nonattainment for a national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The program will provide offsets for a new major stationary source wishing to locate in a nonattainment area or for an existing facility to make a major modification. The proposed program provides for the creation, banking, transfer and use of Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs). In a nonattainment area, if a facility reduces emissions through an operational change, a reconfiguration or a shutdown, the program will allow the facility to request credit for the reductions and bank a reduced portion of the credit for future use or sale. The emission reductions used to generate an ERC must be surplus, permanent, quantifiable and federally enforceable.

According to the State Environmental Commission, “the proposed amendments are no more stringent than what is established by federal law.”

As you know, the Clean Air Act which required, among other things, that states be subject to increased obligations to reduce emissions.  Clark County was a non-attainment areas and as a result its growth – including plans for Ivanpah and other industrial areas – were hampered. It is my understanding that NAIOP become a very big proponent of rolling back proposed regulations in non-attainment areas.  At this time, Clark County’s regulations and NDEP’s are equally stringent.

In order to comply with federal emission offset requirements, the offsets (ERCs) must be obtained from emission reductions created in the same nonattainment area where they will be used, with one two-part exception. An ERC from another nonattainment area is applicable if:

  1. The other area had an equal or higher nonattainment classification than the area in which the source is located, and,
  2. Emissions from the other area contribute to a violation of the NAAQS in the area in which the source is located.

Determination of a nonattainment area contributing to another nonattainment area where a source wants to use the ERCs would be made by USEPA.  If ERCs are granted, they are discounted 10% before they are recorded in the State registry, to encourage further progress toward attainment of the NAAQS in the nonattainment area.

The attached proposed regulation has already gone through the public workshop phase and will come before the State Environmental Commission regulatory meeting on October 14 (Agenda).  If approved and adopted by the SEC, then it will go before the Legislative Commission for final review and approval.

Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency Offers Grants for Commercial/Industrial Property Owners

The City of Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency will consider at its Aug. 5 meeting modification of the Commercial Visual Improvement Plan (CVIP LV CVIP – Aug 5) for RDA 1 and 2 (see attached map LV Redevelopment Map).

The objective of the Plan is to establish financial mechanisms that provide financial incentives to new, existing and expanding business owners with exterior improvements to commercial, industrial and mixed-use properties located within the Redevelopment Area. The CVIP will provide a grant rebates up to $25,000 for projects located anywhere within RDA 1 and 2 that meet the program requirements.

The RDA requires applicants to provide 2:1 matching funds; in order to receive the maximum grant of $25,000 the owner must invest at least $50,000 toward qualifying improvements.

Applicants must demonstrate that the project results in a significant improvement to the exterior of a commercial, industrial or mixed-use building consisting of but not limited to any combination of the following;

  • Appropriate, permanent landscaping
  • Improved and/or upgraded signage (coordination and style of signage is important factor)
  • Better access and availability of parking for on-site users
  • Exterior improvements including: painting, new or repaired windows, improved entry ways, new or repaired facades, etc.

Funding priorities are given as follows (partial list);

  • Multiple and adjacent business owners seeking to collaborate
  • Projects which are catalytic in nature and have the potential to revitalize and promote the economic stability of the surrounding neighborhood
  • Projects where the owner demonstrates the ability to sustain improvements
  • Projects where no other reasonable means of financing exist to fully fund desired improvements
  • Projects where the owner has tenant vacancies and is looking to substantially improve the property to attract tenants

Ineligible properties and businesses include single family residential properties and multi-family residential properties that are NOT part of a larger mixed-use development; Medical Marijuana businesses; businesses that require a privileged license (i.e. adult nightclub, pawnbroker, smoke shop, wedding chapels, locksmiths, auction house, slot route operator, martial arts, outcall entertainment, psychic arts, non-restricted gaming, etc.);  check cashing and bail bond businesses, churches, convenience stores and others.

Full program requirements are detailed in the Visual Improvement Program attached LV Visual Improvement Program 2015.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 5, the Redevelopment Agency will review a couple of applications for CVIP funds from business owners, as well as consideration of an amendment to, and expansion of, the current Redevelopment Area.

Immediately after the Redevelopment Agency meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m., the Las Vegas City Council will meet. Included on the agendawill be consideration and vote on the CVIP applications.