MONTEREY COUNTY, CA – Within two years after a long-delayed general plan update is finally approved, Monterey County would be required to adopt a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30 percent in an attempt to offset the environmental impacts of future growth, according to The Herald.

That is according to an overview of the latest version of the county’s blueprint for growth during the next quarter century, known as General Plan Update 5, and its draft environmental impact report, which was presented to county planning commissioners Wednesday. The public hearing, which drew only a few participants, was the commission’s first on the draft report.

But some commissioners said they are worried about the potential costs of implementing such a sweeping plan in difficult economic times, as well as its impact on the local business climate, and called for a full accounting of the expense of such a plan.

According to the overview, the county would be required to adopt a greenhouse gas reduction plan that would cut emissions 28 percent by 2020. As part of the emissions reduction plan, the county would take an inventory of transportation and industrial emissions, approve a “green building” ordinance focused on large industrial and commercial projects, and aim for a 75 percent waste diversion goal through recycling and waste reduction initiatives. The county would use electric or ultra-low emission fleet vehicles and show preference to contractors who use low-emission business practices.