EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), est.1970: “[the] EPA was established on December 2, 1970 to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. Since its inception, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.”
DOE (Department of Energy), est. 1977: An outgrowth of the Atomic Energy Commission, the DOE brings federal defense and electrical supply interests together under the common cause of Energy. “The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”
EIA (Energy Information Agency), est. 1977: The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects, analyzes, and disseminates independent and impartial energy information to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding of energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.
NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), 1970: A federal law promoting environmental protection. An early step toward the US Environmental Policy Agency, NEPA established the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and required that all executive federal agencies prepare environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EISs), excluding the President, Congress, and the Federal Courts.
Clean Air Act (CAA), 1973: The Clean Air Act is a comprehensive federal law that regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources. Among other things, this law authorizes EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and public welfare and to regulate emissions of hazardous air pollutants.
Clean Water Act, 1972: The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters. The basis of the CWA was enacted in 1948 and was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, but the Act was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. “Clean Water Act” became the Act’s common name with amendments in 1972.
Safe Drinking Water Act (1974): The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal law that protects public drinking water supplies throughout the nation. Under the SDWA, EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and with its partners implements various technical and financial programs to ensure drinking water safety.
Energy Policy Act of 2005: A broad energy policy act described by proponents as addressing mounting energy problems through changes in energy policy, tax incentives, and loan guarantees for various modes of energy production. The act is criticized by opponents as creating financial incentives and environmental exceptions for the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear power industries, and for giving federal protection for the deregulation of hydraulic fractuing.
OPR (Governor’s office of Planning and Research): The Office of Planning and Research, created by statute in 1970, is part of the Office of the Governor. OPR serves the Governor and his Cabinet as staff for long-range planning and research, and constitutes the comprehensive state planning agency.
GPG (Governors General Plan Guidelines): OPR is responsible for updating the General Plan Guidelines – the “how to” resource for drafting a general plan. OPR also monitors general plan implementation with annual progress reports from cities and counties, and grants general plan extensions for qualified cities and counties. A General Plan is the local government’s long-term blueprint for the community’s vision of future growth
CEC (California Energy Commission): The California Energy Commission is the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency. Established by the Legislature in 1974, seven core responsibilities guide the Energy Commission: Forecasting future energy needs; Promoting energy efficiency and conservation by setting the state’s appliance and building energy efficiency standards; Supporting energy research that advances energy science and technology through research, development and demonstration projects; Developing renewable energy resources; Advancing alternative and renewable transportation fuels and technologies; Certifying thermal power plants 50 megawatts and larger; Planning for and directing state response to energy emergencies.
ERP (Emerging Renewables Program),1998-2006: From 1998 to December 31, 2006, the Energy Commission’s Emerging Renewables Program funded grid-connected, solar/photovoltaic electricity systems under 30 kilowatts on homes and businesses in the investor-owned utilities’ service areas, wind systems up to 50 kW in size, fuel cells (using a renewable fuel), and solar thermal electric. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) funded larger self-generation projects for businesses. Since 2007, the Emerging Renewables Program has focused on providing incentives toward the purchase and installation of small wind systems and fuel cells using a renewable fuel.
New Solar Homes Partnership, 2007: A $400 million program, offers incentives to encourage solar installations, with high levels of energy efficiency, in the residential new construction market for investor-owned electric utility service areas. The goal of the NSHP is to install 400 MW of capacity by 2016.
CUPU (California Public Utilities Commission): The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies. The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy. We regulate utility services, stimulate innovation, and promote competitive markets, where possible. On this website you’ll find information about the many initiatives underway at the CPUC.
California Solar Initiative (CSI): (CPUC ruling - R.04-03-017) moved the consumer renewable energy rebate program for existing homes from the Energy Commission to the utility companies under the direction of the CPUC. This incentive program also provides cash back for solar energy systems of less than one megawatt to existing and new commercial, industrial, government, nonprofit, and agricultural properties. The CSI has a budget of $2 billion over 10 years, and the goal is to reach 1,940 MW of installed solar capacity by 2016.
SASH (Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program): A program that provides solar incentives on qualifying affordable single-family housing. The goals of the SASH program are to: Decrease electricity usage by solar installation and reduce energy bills without increasing monthly expenses; Provide full and partial incentives for solar systems for low-income participants; Offer the power of solar and energy efficiency to homeowners; Decrease the expense of solar ownership with a higher incentive than the General CSI Program; Develop energy solutions that are environmentally and economically sustainable; Provide job training and employment opportunities in the solar energy and energy efficiency sectors of the economy. The SASH program provides qualified low-income homeowners fixed, up front, capacity-based incentives to help offset the upfront cost of a solar electric system. This program is managed by GRID Alternatives.
CDC (California Department of Conservation): The Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land-use decisions and sound management of our state’s natural resources.
DOGGR (California Division of Gas and Geothermal Resources): The Division oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas, and geothermal wells. The regulatory program emphasizes the wise development of oil, natural gas, and geothermal resources in the state through sound engineering practices that protect the environment, prevent pollution, and ensure public safety.
CNRA (California Natural Resource Agency): To restore, protect and manage the state’s natural, historical and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on science, collaboration and respect for all the communities and interests involved.
CalEPA (California Environmental Protection Agency): In 1991, California’s environmental authority was unified in a single Cabinet level agency—the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Thier mission is to restore, protect and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality by developing, implementing and enforcing environmental laws that regulate air, water and soil quality, pesticide use and waste recycling and reduction. Our departments are at the forefront of environmental science, using the most recent research to shape the state’s environmental laws. The Office of the Secretary heads CalEPA overseeing and coordinating the activities of one office, two boards, and three departments dedicated to improving California’s environment.
CARB (California Air Resources Board): One of six departments of the CalEPA with the mission to promote and protect public health, welfare and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the state. (source:
CalISO: CalISO oversees the operation of California’s bulk electric power system, transmission lines, and electricity market generated and transmitted by its member utilities. The primary stated mission of the CAISO is to “operate the grid reliably and efficiently, provide fair and open transmission access, promote environmental stewardship, and facilitate effective markets and promote infrastructure development.” CalISO is one of the largest ISOs in the world, delivering 300 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year and managing about 80% of California’s electric flow.
CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act),1970: A statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. CEQA applies to certain activities of state and local public agencies. A public agency must comply with CEQA when it undertakes an activity defined by CEQA as a “project.” A project is an activity undertaken by a public agency or a private activity which must receive some discretionary approval (meaning that the agency has the authority to deny the requested permit or approval) from a government agency which may cause either a direct physical change in the environment or a reasonably foreseeable indirect change in the environment. Most proposals for physical development in California are subject to the provisions of CEQA, as are many governmental decisions which do not immediately result in physical development (such as adoption of a general or community plan). Every development project which requires a discretionary governmental approval will require at least some environmental review pursuant to CEQA, unless an exemption applies.
SB 1078 (2002): Establishes the RPS (Renewable Portfolio Standards) program, requiring 20% of investor owned utility electricity sales to come from renewable energy by 2017.
Energy Action Plan I (2003): Accelerates 20% deadline to 2010.
Energy Action Plan II (2005): Recommends a further goal of 33% by 2020.
SB 107 (2006): Codifies the accelerated 20% by 2010 deadline into law.
AB 32 (2006): Required California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop regulations and market mechanisms to reduce GHG emissions to 2000 levels by 2010 and 1990 levels by 2020, representing a statewide reduction of 30%.
SB 1368 (2006): Under SB 1368, LADWP is required to stop receiving coal power from two coal-fired generating stations when their current contracts and agreements expire.
Executive Order S-14-08 (2008): Requires investor-owned utilities to reach 33% renewables by 2020.
Executive Order S-21-09 (2009): Directs the California Air Resources Board, under its AB 32 authority, to adopt regulations by July 31, 2010, consistent with the 33% renewable energy target established in Executive Order S-14-08.
SB X1-2 (2011): Signed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr., codifies 33% by 2020 RPS.
SB 535 (2012): Requires that 25% of the funds generated by SB 32 and its associated cap-and-trade programs be spent on disadvantaged communities and that 10% of that 25% must be physically located in disadvantaged communities.
SB 350 (2015): Signed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. codifies 50% by 2030 RPS.
SCPPA (Southern California Regional Public Power Associates): a joint powers agency comprised of eleven municipal utilities and one irrigation district. SCPPA’s members consist of the municipal utilities of Anaheim, Azusa, Banning, Burbank, Cerritos, Colton, Glendale, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Riverside, Vernon and the Imperial Irrigation District. Formed in 1980, SCPPA was created for the purpose of providing joint financing, construction and operation of transmission and generation projects. Today, SCPPA fulfills a broad range of services for its members by providing effective forums of collaboration through committees such as Customer Service, Finance, Public Benefits, Resource Planning, Transmission and Distribution, Engineering and Operations, Natural Gas, and Renewable Energy Resources.
SCAQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District): The SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. This area of 10,743 square miles is home to over 16.8 million people–about half the population of the whole state of California. SCAQMD is responsible for controlling emissions primarily from stationary sources of air pollution. These can include anything from large power plants and refineries to the corner gas station. There are about 28,400 such businesses operating under SCAQMD permits.
LA CITY AGENCIES:
LADBS (Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety): The LADBS has a mission to: “To protect the lives and safety of the residents and visitors of the City of Los Angeles and enhance the quality of life, housing, economic prosperity, and job creation citywide. Through a timely, cooperative, and transparent process, the department advises, guides, and assists costomers to achieve compliance with the Building, Zoning, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical, Disabled Access, Energy, and Green codes and local and State law to build safe, well, and fast.
LADCP (Los Angeles Department of City Planning): The Department of City Planning is charged with the responsibility of preparing, maintaining, and implementing a General Plan for the development of the City of Los Angeles. The General Plan consists of the Framework Element, which provides overall guidance for the future of the City and other citywide elements including Los Angeles Department of City PlanningState mandated elements such as the Transportation, Housing, Open Space, and Land Use Elements. The Planning Department implements the General Plan utilizing a variety of tools through the application of zoning regulations. Traditional zoning, Specific Plans, Overlay Districts, and special use permits, such as Conditional Uses and Variances, all regulate the use of land in the City.
LADPW (Los Angeles Department of Public Works): The Department of Public Works is the City’s third largest department and is comprised of a staff of more than 5,000 employees who are responsible for the construction, renovation, and operation of City facilities and infrastructure, as well as the delivery of public safety and environmental programs. (http://dpw.lacity.org/). The department has been governed by a five-member board of comissioners, with a sixth (Petroleum Administrator) added in June of 2016. The LADPW is madeup of 5 Bureaus, Contract Administration, Engineering, Sanitation, Street Lighting, and Street Services.
LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power): The largest publicly owned utility in the United States. Water delivery was founded in 1902 and electrical delivery in 1917. The utility delivers over 200 billion gallons of water annually and over 7200 MW of electricity. The LADWP is governed by a five-member Board of Water and Power Comissioners, appointed by the Mayor and confrimed by the City Council. The board sets policy, rates, and objectives. In addition to the terrritory of Los Angeles, the LADWP serves parts of Bishop, Culver City, South Pasadena, and West Hollywood. (RSP, IRP, Solar Incentives Program (SIP), Feed-in-tariff, Net Metering)
LA METRO (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority): LA Metro serves as transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for Los Angeles County. Metro is responsible for the continuous improvement of an efficient and effective transportation system for Los Angeles County