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Practice Under the California Environmental Quality Act

Authors Stephen Kostka and Michael Zischke cover CEQA practice from all possible perspectives and provide you with invaluable practice tips and expert legal analysis. This definitive guide is the CEQA book most often cited by the California Supreme Court.

Authors Stephen Kostka and Michael Zischke cover CEQA practice from all possible perspectives and provide you with invaluable practice tips and expert legal analysis. This definitive guide is the CEQA book most often cited by the California Supreme Court.

  • Climate change and greenhouse gas emission analysis
  • CEQA coverage and exemptions
  • EIR versus Negative Declaration
  • Public review and scoping process
  • Content and adequacy requirements for EIRs
  • Project approval
  • Mitigation measures and monitoring programs
  • Interplay between CEQA and other statutes
  • Joint federal/state environmental documents
  • CEQA litigation and judicial review
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Authors Stephen Kostka and Michael Zischke cover CEQA practice from all possible perspectives and provide you with invaluable practice tips and expert legal analysis. This definitive guide is the CEQA book most often cited by the California Supreme Court.

  • Climate change and greenhouse gas emission analysis
  • CEQA coverage and exemptions
  • EIR versus Negative Declaration
  • Public review and scoping process
  • Content and adequacy requirements for EIRs
  • Project approval
  • Mitigation measures and monitoring programs
  • Interplay between CEQA and other statutes
  • Joint federal/state environmental documents
  • CEQA litigation and judicial review

1

Overview of CEQA Process

  • I. OVERVIEW OF CEQA PROCESS
    • A. Introduction 1.1
    • B. Scope of Book 1.2
    • C. Summary of Steps in CEQA Review Process 1.3
      • 1. Pre-CEQA Application Activities 1.4
      • 2. Preliminary Review: Does CEQA Apply to Proposed Action? 1.5
      • 3. Initial Study Process: Is There a Potentially Significant Environmental Impact? 1.6
      • 4. Negative Declaration Process 1.7
      • 5. EIR Process 1.8
      • 6. Project Approval 1.9
      • 7. Subsequent Approvals and CEQA Review 1.10
      • 8. Judicial Review of Agency Actions 1.11
      • 9. Special Situations Relating to CEQA 1.12
    • D. CEQA Process Flow Chart 1.13
  • II. PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF CEQA: JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION AND LEGISLATIVE AMENDMENTS
    • A. Description of CEQA 1.14
    • B. CEQA, NEPA, and Other Environmental Assessment Laws 1.15
    • C. Goals of CEQA 1.16
      • 1. Avoiding or Reducing Environmental Damage 1.17
      • 2. Informing Decision-Makers and Public 1.18
    • D. Is CEQA Primarily Procedural or Substantive? 1.19
    • E. Historical Application and Interpretation of CEQA 1.20
      • 1. Friends of Mammoth Decision 1.21
      • 2. Legislative Response to Friends of Mammoth Decision 1.22
      • 3. Judicial Interpretation Following Friends of Mammoth Decision 1.23
      • 4. CEQA Reform Debate in Early 1990s; Legislation Enacted 1993–2010 1.24
        • a. 1993 Legislation 1.25
        • b. 1994 Legislation 1.25A
        • c. 1995 Legislation 1.25B
        • d. 1996 Legislation 1.25C
        • e. 1997 Legislation 1.25D
        • f. 1998 Legislation 1.25E
        • g. 1999 Legislation 1.25F
        • h. 2000 Legislation 1.25G
        • i. 2001 Legislation 1.25H
        • j. 2002 Legislation 1.25I
        • k. 2003 Legislation 1.25J
        • l. 2004 Legislation 1.25K
        • m. 2005 Legislation 1.25L
        • n. 2006 Legislation 1.25M
        • o. 2007 Legislation 1.25N
        • p. 2008 Legislation 1.25O
        • q. 2009 Legislation 1.25P
        • r. 2010 Legislation 1.25Q
      • 5. Recent Legislation: 2011 to Present
        • a. 2011 Legislation 1.26
        • b. 2012 Legislation 1.26A
        • c. 2013 Legislation 1.26B
        • d. 2014 Legislation 1.26C
        • e. 2015 Legislation 1.26D
        • f. 2016 Legislation 1.26E
  • III. CEQA GUIDELINES 1.27
    • A. Statutory Authority 1.28
    • B. Mandatory, Directory, or Permissive? 1.29
    • C. Legal Effect
      • 1. Interpretation by Courts 1.30
      • 2. Compliance May Not Constitute "Safe Harbor" 1.31
    • D. Revision of Guidelines 1.32
    • E. Other Public Agency Guidelines and Implementing Procedures 1.33
    • F. Effect of Amendments to CEQA or CEQA Guidelines 1.34
    • G. Additional References on CEQA 1.35
  • IV. GLOSSARY OF CEQA TERMS 1.36

2

Attorney's Role in CEQA Process

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 2.1
  • II. ATTORNEY'S ROLE IN ACHIEVING CEQA COMPLIANCE
    • A. Overview 2.2
    • B. Working as Part of a Project Team
      • 1. Attorney's Role 2.3
      • 2. Practical Suggestions for Attorney Working as Part of a Project Team 2.4
    • C. Balancing Costs of CEQA Compliance Against Risks of Litigation
      • 1. Determining Appropriate Level and Method of CEQA Compliance 2.5
        • a. Review of Exempt Projects for Exceptions 2.6
        • b. Findings for Project Approvals 2.7
        • c. Evaluation of EIR 2.8
      • 2. Establishing Cost of CEQA Documents 2.9
      • 3. Challenging Excessive Fees for CEQA Documents
        • a. Grounds for Challenge 2.10
        • b. Procedure for Challenging Fees 2.11
    • D. Preliminary Project Consultation 2.12
    • E. Checklists 2.13
      • 1. CEQA Considerations 2.14
      • 2. Project Approvals 2.15
      • 3. Site Constraints 2.16
    • F. Working With Public Officials Before Application Is Filed
      • 1. Public Officials and Agency Staff 2.17
      • 2. Appearances Before Public Agencies 2.18
    • G. Filing Project Application 2.19
    • H. Attorney's Role After Application Is Filed and While Project Is Being Considered
      • 1. Protecting Project Applicant's Rights
        • a. Compliance With Notice Requirements 2.20
        • b. Creating an Adequate Record 2.21
      • 2. Preliminary Review 2.22
      • 3. Processing Exempt Projects 2.23
      • 4. Processing Negative Declaration Projects 2.24
      • 5. Preparing and Reviewing EIRs 2.25
      • 6. Project Approval and Findings 2.26
      • 7. Developing and Implementing Project 2.27
  • III. LEGAL OPINIONS REGARDING CEQA COMPLIANCE 2.28
    • A. Use of Reasoned Opinions 2.29
    • B. Scope of Opinions 2.30
    • C. Content of Opinions
      • 1. Opinions for Improvements Approved or Completed Before CEQA Was Enacted 2.31
        • a. CEQA Exemptions for Prior Projects 2.32
        • b. Limited Scope of Prior Project Exemption; Exceptions 2.33
      • 2. Opinions Relating to Projects Developed After CEQA Was Enacted
        • a. Basing Opinion on Statute of Limitations and Notice of Determination 2.34
        • b. Exceptions to Opinion for Changes in Improvements 2.35
      • 3. Opinions Relating to Recently Developed or Approved Projects 2.36
      • 4. Excluding Opinions, Representations, and Warranties Regarding CEQA Compliance 2.37
      • 5. Opinions Regarding Legal Adequacy of EIRs and Negative Declarations 2.38
    • D. Reliance on Public Agency Representations in Preparing Opinions 2.39
  • IV. INDEMNITY AGREEMENTS WITH PROJECT CONSULTANTS AND PROJECT APPLICANTS 2.40
  • V. PRACTICAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATING TO CEQA PROCESS
    • A. Confidentiality of Documents
      • 1. Trade Secrets 2.41
      • 2. Public Records Act 2.42
      • 3. Attorney-Client Privilege 2.42A
      • 4. Deliberative Process Privilege 2.42B
      • 5. Confidential Information Regarding Tribal Cultural Resources 2.42C
    • B. Compliance With Open Meeting, Conflict-of-Interest, and Political Reform Laws
      • 1. Open Meeting Laws 2.43
        • a. Closed Meetings to Discuss Pending Litigation 2.44
        • b. Serial Meetings 2.45
        • c. Notice Requirements 2.46
      • 2. Conflict-of-Interest Laws 2.47
      • 3. Political Reform Laws 2.48
    • C. Protecting Clients Against Liability for SLAPP Suits and Misrepresentations 2.49
    • D. Use of CEQA to Attain Nonenvironmental Goals 2.50

3

Role of Public Agencies in CEQA Process

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 3.1
  • II. LEAD AND RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES 3.2
    • A. Lead Agency
      • 1. Determining the Lead Agency 3.3
        • a. Guidelines Standards for Identifying the Lead Agency 3.4
        • b. Form: Agreement Designating Lead Agency 3.5
        • c. State Office of Planning and Research (OPR) Designation of Lead Agency 3.6
        • d. Special Provisions for Identifying Lead and Responsible Agencies for Particular Types of Projects 3.7
        • e. Shift in Lead Agency Designation 3.8
      • 2. Responsibilities of Lead Agency 3.9
        • a. Preliminary Review 3.10
        • b. Initial Study 3.11
        • c. Negative Declaration 3.12
        • d. Environmental Impact Report (EIR) 3.13
          • (1) Draft EIR 3.14
          • (2) Final EIR 3.15
        • e. Monitoring 3.16
        • f. Subsequent Approvals 3.17
    • B. Responsible Agency
      • 1. Definition of Responsible Agency 3.18
      • 2. Responsibilities of Responsible Agency 3.19
        • a. Responsible Agency's Role in Consultation Process 3.20
        • b. Responsible Agency's Own Action on Project
          • (1) Decide on Adequacy of EIR or Negative Declaration 3.21
          • (2) Consider EIR or Negative Declaration 3.22
          • (3) Make Findings and File Notice of Determination 3.23
          • (4) Participate in Reporting or Monitoring Program 3.24
      • 3. How to Identify Responsible Agencies for a Project 3.25
      • 4. Checklist: Potential State Responsible Agencies and Permits 3.26
    • C. Relationship Between Lead and Responsible Agencies
      • 1. Responsible Agency Bound by Lead Agency's CEQA Decisions
        • a. Lead Agency's Decision on Whether to Prepare EIR or Negative Declaration Is Final and Conclusive 3.27
        • b. Final EIR or Negative Declaration Is Presumed Valid
          • (1) Presumption When No Action Is Filed 3.28
          • (2) Presumption When Action Is Pending 3.29
        • c. Presumptions Probably Do Not Apply to Exemption Determinations 3.30
      • 2. Responsible Agency Has Authority to Mitigate, Approve, or Disapprove 3.31
      • 3. Responsible Agency and Mitigation Monitoring or Reporting Programs 3.32
      • 4. Certified Regulatory Agency as Lead Agency 3.33
  • III. PUBLIC AGENCIES: STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES
    • A. Definitions 3.34
    • B. Different Filing and Notice Requirements for State and Local Agencies 3.35
    • C. Additional Responsibilities for State Agencies 3.36
    • D. State Agencies Only Are Eligible for Certified Program Exemption 3.37
  • IV. TRUSTEE AGENCIES
    • A. Definition 3.38
    • B. Responsibilities of Lead Agencies With Respect to Trustee Agencies 3.39
    • C. Role and Responsibilities of Trustee Agencies 3.40
  • V. COORDINATING ROLES OF NATURAL RESOURCES AGENCY AND OFFICE OF PLANNING AND RESEARCH (OPR)
    • A. Responsibilities of Secretary of Natural Resources Agency 3.41
    • B. OPR 3.42
    • C. State Clearinghouse 3.43
  • VI. AGENCY PROCEDURES TO IMPLEMENT CEQA
    • A. Public Agencies Must Adopt Implementing Procedures 3.44
      • 1. Methods of Adopting Agency Implementing Procedures 3.45
      • 2. Checklist: Items That Must Be Included in Agency Implementing Procedures 3.46
      • 3. Amendments to the Guidelines 3.47
      • 4. Time Periods for Public Review Must Be Consistent With CEQA and Guidelines 3.48
      • 5. Effect of Agency Implementing Procedures 3.49
    • B. General Provisions Regarding Agency Authority, Responsibility, and Delegation of Responsibility 3.50

4

Is the Activity a Project?

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 4.1
  • II. PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF PROPOSED ACTIVITY 4.2
    • A. Types of Exclusions and Exemptions 4.3
    • B. Determining Whether CEQA Applies as Part of Preliminary Review 4.4
  • III. DETERMINING WHETHER ACTIVITY IS A "PROJECT"
    • A. Definition of "Project" 4.5
    • B. Scope of "Project" 4.6
    • C. First Test for Project: Exercise of Powers by Public Agency 4.7
      • 1. Public Agencies Subject to CEQA
        • a. Definition of "Public Agency" 4.8
        • b. Exclusions From Definition of "Public Agency"
          • (1) State Legislature 4.9
          • (2) State Courts 4.10
          • (3) Electorate 4.11
      • 2. Types of Agency Actions Subject to CEQA 4.12
        • a. Activities Undertaken by Public Agency 4.13
        • b. Private Activities Involving Public Agency Approval 4.14
        • c. Proposed Approval Triggers CEQA 4.15
        • d. Exemption for Disapproved Proposals 4.16
    • D. Second Test for Project: Effect on Physical Environment 4.17
      • 1. Potential to Result in Physical Change in Environment 4.18
      • 2. Whole of Action 4.19
      • 3. Indirect Effects on the Environment 4.20
      • 4. Actions That Will Result in a Foreseeable Change to the Environment 4.21
      • 5. Actions That Will Not Result in a Foreseeable Change to the Environment 4.22
      • 6. Specific Exclusions Under CEQA Guidelines 4.23
    • E. Third Test for Project: Discretionary Versus Ministerial Action 4.24
      • 1. What Is a Discretionary Activity? 4.25
      • 2. What Is a Ministerial Activity? 4.26
      • 3. Projects With Both Discretionary and Ministerial Components 4.27
      • 4. Types of Decisions That May Be Either Discretionary or Ministerial 4.28
        • a. Discretionary Development Permits 4.29
        • b. Ministerial Development Permits 4.30
    • F. Application of CEQA to Ballot Measures 4.30A
  • IV. STANDARD OF JUDICIAL REVIEW OF AGENCY'S DETERMINATION WHETHER AN ACTIVITY IS A PROJECT 4.31

5

Is the Project Exempt?

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 5.1
  • II. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
    • A. Checklist: Factors to Consider in Making CEQA Exemption Determinations 5.2
    • B. Distinction Between Statutory Exemptions, Categorical Exemptions, and the Common Sense Exemption 5.3
    • C. Using Multiple Exemptions 5.4
  • III. STATUTORY EXEMPTIONS 5.5
    • A. Locating Statutory Exemptions 5.6
    • B. Tables: Statutory Exemptions 5.7
    • C. General Statutory Exemptions
      • 1. Ministerial Projects 5.8
        • a. Building, Demolition, and Grading Permits 5.9
        • b. Ballot Measures 5.10
        • c. Other Situations 5.11
      • 2. Disapproved Projects 5.12
      • 3. Ongoing Projects
        • a. Public Agency Projects Approved Before Enactment of CEQA 5.13
        • b. Private Projects Approved Before Compliance Date 5.14
      • 4. Projects Located Outside California 5.15
      • 5. Feasibility and Planning Studies 5.16
      • 6. Natural Disasters and Emergencies 5.17
      • 7. Changes to Rates, Tolls, Fares, and Charges 5.18
    • D. Statutory Exemptions Applicable to Specific Classes of Projects
      • 1. Mass Transit and Transportation Improvement Programs 5.19
      • 2. School Closings 5.20
      • 3. Local Ordinances Relating to Construction of Accessory Dwelling Units 5.21
      • 4. Minor Infrastructure Improvements 5.22
      • 5. State Lands Commission Title and Boundary Settlements; Land Bank Acquisitions 5.23
      • 6. Shade Control Ordinances 5.24
      • 7. Day Care Homes 5.25
      • 8. Discharge Requirements for Existing Sources 5.26
      • 9. Timberland Preserves 5.27
      • 10. Coastal Plans 5.28
      • 11. Financial Assistance or Insurance for Low- and Moderate-Income Housing 5.29
      • 12. Thermal Power Plants 5.30
      • 13. General Plan Time Extension 5.31
      • 14. Court-Ordered General Plan Amendment 5.32
      • 15. Determination of City's or County's Regional Share of Housing Needs 5.33
      • 16. Residential and Other Projects Consistent With Specific Plans 5.34
      • 17. Development Approvals Based on Previous Planning or Zoning EIR 5.35
      • 18. State-Certified Regulatory Programs 5.36
      • 19. Local Implementation of State Regulations Under Certified Regulatory Programs 5.37
      • 20. Mobilehome Park Conversions 5.38
      • 21. Water Management Plans 5.39
      • 22. Native American Sites 5.40
      • 23. Certain Bonds and Financing Mechanisms 5.41
      • 24. Industrial Development Authorities 5.42
      • 25. Delta Protection 5.43
      • 26. Temporary Transfer or Exchange of Water or Water Rights 5.44
      • 27. Adoption of Nondisposal Facility Elements of Local Solid Waste Plans 5.45
      • 28. Caltrans Land Acquisitions Within Certain Transportation Corridors 5.46
      • 29. Projects on Native American Lands 5.47
      • 30. Affordable Housing, Farmworker Housing, and Infill Housing 5.48
        • a. General Criteria for Housing Exemptions 5.49
        • b. Farmworker Housing Exemption 5.50
        • c. Affordable Housing Exemption 5.51
        • d. Infill Residential Development Exemption 5.52
        • e. Other CEQA Exemptions and Streamlining Provisions to Consider 5.53
        • f. Special Posting Requirements for Housing Exemptions 5.54
      • 31. "Transit Priority Projects" Under SB 375 5.54A
      • 32. "Use by Right" Development of Affordable Housing 5.55
      • 33. Title V Air Quality Permits 5.56
      • 34. Aquaculture Facility Registration 5.57
      • 35. Minor Utility Alterations for Fluoridation 5.58
      • 36. Publicly Owned Transit Agency Budget Reductions 5.59
      • 37. School Facilities Needs Analyses 5.60
      • 38. Infrastructure Financing Actions 5.61
      • 39. NCCP Planning Agreements 5.62
      • 40. Mandatory Recycled Water Use 5.63
      • 41. Dispositions of Surplus State Real Property 5.63A
      • 42. Rooftop and Parking Lot Solar Projects 5.63B
      • 43. Interim Drought Relief Measures 5.63C
    • E. Statutory Exemptions Applicable to Specific Projects
      • 1. Olympic Games 5.64
      • 2. Specified Prisons 5.65
      • 3. Bay Area Rail Service 5.66
      • 4. Uncodified Exemptions for Specific Projects 5.67
  • IV. CATEGORICAL EXEMPTIONS 5.68
    • A. Adoption of Categorical Exemptions 5.69
    • B. Specific Exceptions to Exemptions 5.70
    • C. General Exceptions to Exemptions 5.71
      • 1. Unusual Circumstances 5.72
      • 2. Cumulative Impacts 5.73
      • 3. Sensitive Environment 5.74
    • D. Mitigated Categorical Exemptions Not Allowed 5.75
    • E. Table: Locating Categorical Exemptions 5.76
    • F. Discussion of Specific Exemptions
      • 1. Ongoing Operations, Maintenance, and Reconstruction
        • a. Operation, Repair, Maintenance, or Minor Alteration of Existing Structures or Facilities 5.77
        • b. Normal Operations of Existing Facilities for Public Gatherings 5.78
        • c. Replacement or Reconstruction of Existing Structures or Facilities 5.79
      • 2. Small Construction or Development Projects
        • a. Construction, Installation, or Conversion of Small Structures, Facilities, or Equipment 5.80
        • b. Construction or Placement of Accessory Structures 5.81
        • c. Minor Alterations to Land, Water, or Vegetation 5.82
        • d. Infill Development Projects 5.83
      • 3. Land Use Regulation
        • a. Minor Alterations to Land Use Limitations 5.84
        • b. Minor Land Divisions 5.85
      • 4. Protection of Natural Resources, Environment, and Open Space
        • a. Actions by Regulatory Agencies to Protect Natural Resources 5.86
        • b. Actions by Regulatory Agencies to Protect Environment 5.87
        • c. Acquisition of Land for Wildlife Conservation 5.88
        • d. Transfer of Ownership of Land to Create Parks 5.89
        • e. Establishment of Agricultural Preserves, Creation of Open Space Contracts, and Acceptance of Easements or Fee Interests 5.90
        • f. Transfers of Ownership of Interests in Land to Preserve Open Space, Habitat, or Historical Resources 5.91
        • g. Designation of Wilderness Areas 5.92
        • h. Minor Environmental Cleanups 5.93
        • i. Historic Resource Restoration or Rehabilitation 5.94
        • j. Small Habitat Restoration Projects 5.95
      • 5. Small Energy Projects
        • a. Installation of Small Hydroelectric Projects at Existing Facilities 5.96
        • b. Installation of Small Cogeneration Projects at Existing Facilities 5.97
      • 6. Organization of Government Agencies
        • a. Annexations of Existing Facilities and Exempt Small Parcels 5.98
        • b. Changes in Organization of Local Agencies 5.99
      • 7. Schools
        • a. Minor Additions to Schools 5.100
        • b. Educational or Training Programs Involving No Physical Changes 5.101
      • 8. Purchase, Sale, and Lease of Property and Loans by Government Agencies
        • a. Acquisition of Interests in Housing to Implement Housing Assistance Programs 5.102
        • b. Sales of Surplus Government Property 5.103
        • c. Leasing of New Facilities 5.104
        • d. Loans, Mortgages, and Purchase of Mortgages 5.105
      • 9. Regulatory Activities by Government Agencies
        • a. Enforcement Actions 5.106
        • b. Regulation of Working Conditions 5.107
        • c. Inspections 5.108
      • 10. Information Collection 5.109
  • V. THE COMMON SENSE EXEMPTION
    • A. Description of Common Sense Exemption 5.110
    • B. Application of Common Sense Exemption 5.111
    • C. Application to Actions Designed to Protect Environment 5.112
  • VI. PROCEDURE FOR APPROVING EXEMPT PROJECT AND FILING NOTICE OF EXEMPTION
    • A. Preliminary Review for Exemption 5.113
    • B. Exemption Determination
      • 1. No Required Procedure 5.114
      • 2. Findings 5.115
    • C. Agency Filing of Notice of Exemption 5.116
      • 1. Contents of Notice 5.117
      • 2. Filing, Posting, and Mailing of Notice 5.118
    • D. Applicant Filing of Notice of Exemption 5.119
    • E. Statute of Limitations When Notice of Exemption Is Filed 5.120
    • F. Effect of Errors in Notice or Posting Procedure 5.121
    • G. Exemption From Fish and Game Code Filing Fees 5.122
  • VII. STANDARD OF JUDICIAL REVIEW OF EXEMPTION DECISIONS
    • A. Governing Statute 5.123
    • B. Review Not Limited to Exemptions in Agency Record 5.124
    • C. Standard of Review for Statutory Exemptions 5.125
    • D. Standard of Review for Categorical Exemptions 5.126
    • E. Standard of Review for Exceptions to Categorical Exemptions
      • 1. General Exceptions 5.127
      • 2. Specific Exceptions 5.128
    • F. Standard of Review for Common Sense Exemption 5.129

6

Initial Study: Will Project Have Significant Effect on Environment?

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 6.1
  • II. WHEN INITIAL STUDY IS REQUIRED 6.2
  • III. PURPOSES OF INITIAL STUDY 6.3
    • A. To Provide Information on Whether to Prepare EIR or Negative Declaration 6.4
    • B. To Determine Possibility of Mitigated Negative Declaration 6.5
    • C. To Document Decision to Adopt Negative Declaration 6.6
    • D. To Assist in Preparing EIR 6.7
    • E. To Determine Whether to Rely on Previously Completed EIR 6.8
  • IV. REQUIREMENTS FOR INITIAL STUDY
    • A. Time Limits 6.9
    • B. Contents 6.10
      • 1. Format 6.11
      • 2. Scope of Analysis 6.12
      • 3. Use of Environmental Checklist Form 6.13
      • 4. Other Methods for Preparing an Initial Study 6.14
      • 5. Preparation of Initial Study 6.15
    • C. Adequacy of Initial Study
      • 1. Technical Compliance 6.16
      • 2. Brief Description of Project and Setting 6.16A
      • 3. Factual Basis for Impact Findings
        • a. Basis for Impact Findings Must Be Shown 6.17
        • b. Standards for Factual Showing 6.18
        • c. Implementation of Requirement 6.19
        • d. Reliance on Information in Addition to Initial Study 6.20
    • D. Requirements for Initial Study Used to Focus EIR 6.21
    • E. Required Procedures for Initial Study
      • 1. Consultation
        • a. Other Agencies 6.22
        • b. Project Applicant 6.23
        • c. Consultants and Experts 6.24
        • d. Applicant's Attorney 6.25
        • e. Members of Public 6.26
      • 2. Implementation of Initial Study 6.27
      • 3. Effect of Changes to Project 6.28
      • 4. Fees for Preparing Initial Study 6.29
  • V. SCOPE OF IMPACT ANALYSIS
    • A. Baseline for Analysis 6.30
    • B. Entire Project 6.31
    • C. All Phases of Project 6.32
    • D. Indirect Impacts 6.33
    • E. Cumulative Impacts 6.34
    • F. Impacts of the Environment on the Project 6.35
    • G. Social and Economic Issues 6.36
  • VI. DETERMINING WHETHER TO PREPARE EIR OR NEGATIVE DECLARATION
    • A. Legal Standard: Fair Argument Test 6.37
      • 1. Review of Entire Record 6.38
      • 2. "Substantial Evidence" Defined 6.39
      • 3. Evidence Lead Agency May Consider
        • a. Studies Prepared by Agency 6.40
        • b. Reports and Comments by Experts 6.41
        • c. Comments by Members of Public 6.42
        • d. Comments by Other Agencies 6.43
    • B. Evaluating Whether Effect on Environment May Be Significant 6.44
      • 1. Exercise of Agency's Judgment 6.45
      • 2. Mandatory Findings of Significance 6.46
        • a. Implementation of Mandatory Findings
          • (1) Degradation of Environment 6.47
          • (2) Long-Term Impacts 6.48
          • (3) Cumulative Impacts 6.49
          • (4) Impacts on Species 6.50
          • (5) Impacts on Historical Resources 6.51
          • (6) Impacts on Human Beings 6.52
        • b. Mandatory EIR for Specified Types of Projects 6.53
      • 3. Guidelines Appendix G Checklist 6.54
      • 4. Regulatory Agency Environmental Standards 6.55
      • 5. Formally Adopted Thresholds of Significance 6.56
      • 6. Project Setting 6.57
      • 7. Public Controversy 6.58
      • 8. Expert Opinion 6.59
  • VII. MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATIONS
    • A. Description 6.60
    • B. Relationship to Initial Study 6.61
    • C. Use of Mitigated Negative Declarations 6.62
    • D. Incorporation of Project Changes 6.63
    • E. Nature of Mitigation Measures
      • 1. Mitigation Methods 6.64
      • 2. Acceptable Mitigation Measures
        • a. Modifications of Project Plan 6.65
        • b. Limitations on Activities 6.66
        • c. Construction of Improvements 6.67
        • d. Compliance With Standards 6.68
        • e. Monitoring and Enforcement 6.69
        • f. Approval by Other Agencies 6.70
        • g. "Drop-Dead" Conditions 6.71
      • 3. Unacceptable Mitigation Measures
        • a. Hand-Off to Another Agency 6.72
        • b. Future Study 6.73
        • c. Future Mitigation 6.74
      • 4. Payment of Fees as Mitigation 6.74A
  • VIII. STANDARD OF JUDICIAL REVIEW 6.75
    • A. Fair Argument Standard 6.76
    • B. Agency's Duty to Investigate Project's Environmental Impacts 6.77
    • C. Review of Mitigated Negative Declarations 6.78
    • D. Examples From Case Law
      • 1. Cases Overturning Agency Decision to Adopt Negative Declaration 6.79
      • 2. Cases Upholding Agency Decision to Adopt Negative Declaration 6.80

7

Procedural and Substantive Requirements for Negative Declarations

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 7.1
  • II. NEGATIVE DECLARATION: DEFINITION; REQUIREMENTS 7.2
  • III. MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION 7.3
  • IV. PROCEDURES FOR PROJECT APPROVAL BASED ON NEGATIVE DECLARATION
    • A. Checklist: Attorney's Review for Adequacy of Negative Declaration 7.4
    • B. Time Limits for Completion
      • 1. Time to Complete and Adopt Negative Declaration 7.5
      • 2. No Sanction for Violation of Time Limit 7.6
      • 3. Time Limit Suspended for Unreasonable Delay by Project Applicant 7.7
    • C. Preparation and Review 7.8
      • 1. Required Contents of Negative Declaration 7.9
      • 2. Required Notice 7.10
        • a. Notice to the Public 7.11
        • b. Notice to Requesting Parties 7.12
        • c. Notice to Public Agencies 7.13
        • d. Notice to Native American Tribes 7.13A
        • e. Posting by County Clerk 7.14
        • f. Submission to State Clearinghouse 7.15
        • g. Additional Notice 7.16
        • h. Special Notice Requirements for Certain Types of Projects 7.17
      • 3. Required Contents of Notice 7.18
      • 4. Review and Comment Period
        • a. Public and Agency Review Required 7.19
          • (1) Time Allowed for Negative Declarations Not Submitted to State Clearinghouse 7.20
          • (2) Time Allowed for Negative Declarations Submitted to State Clearinghouse 7.21
        • b. Comments on Negative Declaration 7.22
        • c. Recirculation of Negative Declaration 7.23
    • D. Adoption of Negative Declaration
      • 1. Procedure for Adoption 7.24
      • 2. Standards for Adoption 7.25
      • 3. Requirements for Adoption 7.26
      • 4. Agency's Delegation of Duties 7.27
      • 5. Adoption of Mitigation Monitoring Program 7.28
    • E. Notice of Determination 7.29
      • 1. Contents 7.30
      • 2. Filing and Posting 7.31
    • F. Payment of Fish and Game Code Filing Fee 7.32
      • 1. Amount of Fee 7.33
      • 2. Responsibility for Payment 7.34
      • 3. Time for Payment 7.35
      • 4. Filing Fee Exemptions
        • a. No Effect Exemption
          • (1) Definition; Eligible Projects 7.36
          • (2) Procedure 7.37
        • b. Other Exemptions 7.38
      • 5. One Fee per Project 7.39
      • 6. Notice Will Not Be Filed Until Fee Paid 7.40
      • 7. Recordkeeping and Penalties 7.41

8

Determining Scope and Contents of EIR

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 8.1
  • II. DECISION TO PREPARE EIR
    • A. Decision-Making Process 8.2
    • B. Time Limits for Private Projects
      • 1. Thirty Days After Application Is Complete 8.3
      • 2. When Is Application Complete? 8.4
    • C. Coordination With Project Review 8.5
  • III. DETERMINING SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF EIR 8.6
    • A. Using Initial Study to Determine Scope of EIR 8.7
    • B. Consultation With Concerned Agencies 8.8
    • C. Consultation With Native American Tribes 8.8A
    • D. Notice of Preparation 8.9
      • 1. Parties to Whom Notice Must Be Sent
        • a. Responsible, Trustee, and Federal Agencies 8.10
        • b. State Clearinghouse 8.11
        • c. Agencies Concerned With Transportation Facilities 8.12
        • d. Department of Fish and Wildlife 8.13
        • e. Persons Requesting Notice 8.14
      • 2. Transmittal and Posting 8.15
      • 3. Contents 8.16
      • 4. Response to Notice of Preparation 8.17
      • 5. Failure to Respond Within Time Limits 8.18
    • E. Scoping Meetings
      • 1. Scoping Meetings With Responsible or Trustee Agencies 8.19
      • 2. Consultation With Members of Public 8.20
      • 3. Public Scoping Meeting Required for Projects of Statewide, Regional, or Areawide Significance 8.21
    • F. Coordination of Consultation With Preparation of EIR 8.22
    • G. Documenting the Results of the Consultation and Scoping Process 8.23

9

Requirements for Preparation and Review of Draft EIRs

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 9.1
  • II. PREPARATION OF DRAFT EIR
    • A. Lead Agency's Responsibility 9.2
    • B. Sources of Information 9.3
    • C. Who May Prepare EIR?
      • 1. Legal Requirements 9.4
      • 2. Lead Agency Must Independently Review and Analyze EIR 9.5
      • 3. Working With EIR Consultants 9.6
        • a. Selecting Consultant 9.7
        • b. Defining Scope of Consultant's Work 9.8
        • c. Attorney's Role in Working With Consultants 9.9
    • D. Review of Internal Draft EIRs 9.10
    • E. Contacts With Applicant and Applicant's Counsel During EIR Preparation; Common Interest Doctrine 9.11
  • III. REVIEW OF DRAFT EIR BY OTHER AGENCIES
    • A. Notice of Completion
      • 1. When Required 9.12
      • 2. Required Contents 9.13
    • B. Review Through State Clearinghouse
      • 1. When Required 9.14
      • 2. Projects of Statewide, Regional, or Areawide Significance 9.15
    • C. Agency Consultation and Comments on Draft EIR 9.16
  • IV. PUBLIC REVIEW
    • A. Notice of Public Review 9.17
      • 1. Required Contents 9.18
      • 2. Manner of Giving Notice 9.19
    • B. Review Period 9.20
      • 1. "Local Review" Projects 9.21
      • 2. "Clearinghouse Review" Projects
        • a. Normal Review Period 9.22
        • b. Shortened Clearinghouse Review Periods; Exceptional Circumstances 9.23
      • 3. Requests for Time Extension 9.24
    • C. Other Review Requirements
      • 1. Purpose of Review 9.25
      • 2. Availability of Draft EIR for Review 9.26
      • 3. Optional Hearings on Draft EIR 9.27
      • 4. Comment Procedure
        • a. Submission of Comments 9.28
        • b. Focus of Comments 9.29
        • c. Evaluation and Response to Comments 9.30

10

CEQA Streamlining and Special EIR Processes

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 10.1
  • II. STREAMLINING CEQA REVIEW
    • A. Types of CEQA Streamlining Processes 10.2
    • B. Selecting an Appropriate Streamlining Process 10.3
    • C. Checklist: Factors in Selecting a Special EIR Process 10.4
    • D. Preparing First-Level EIRs 10.5
  • III. TIERING EIRs
    • A. Definition and Purpose 10.6
    • B. When Tiering Is Appropriate 10.7
    • C. Contents of First-Tier EIR
      • 1. Impact Analysis 10.8
      • 2. Mitigation Measures and Alternatives 10.9
    • D. Determining Scope of Later EIR 10.10
    • E. Required Procedures 10.11
    • F. Tiered Negative Declaration 10.12
  • IV. PROGRAM EIRs
    • A. Definition and Purposes 10.13
    • B. Uses of Program EIRs 10.14
      • 1. Avoiding Multiple EIRs 10.15
        • a. Evaluating Whether Further Review Is Needed for Later Approvals 10.16
        • b. Required Notice 10.17
      • 2. Simplifying Later Environmental Review 10.18
      • 3. Consideration of Broad Programmatic Issues 10.19
    • C. Use Required for Multiple and Phased Projects 10.20
    • D. Standard of Review for Determination That a Later EIR Is Not Required 10.21
  • V. MASTER EIRs
    • A. Definition and Purposes 10.22
    • B. Actions Eligible for Master EIR Treatment 10.23
    • C. Required Contents of a Master EIR 10.24
    • D. Later CEQA Review After a Master EIR Has Been Completed
      • 1. Later Lead Agency Must Have Been Identified in Master EIR 10.25
      • 2. Procedure for Project Review 10.26
        • a. Initial Study 10.27
        • b. Finding of No New Impacts 10.28
        • c. New Impacts Can Be Mitigated With a Mitigated Negative Declaration 10.29
        • d. EIR or Focused EIR 10.30
      • 3. Continuing Adequacy of Master EIR
        • a. Approvals Within 5 Years 10.31
        • b. Actions After 5 Years 10.32
  • VI. APPROVALS BASED ON EIR FOR GENERAL PLAN, COMMUNITY PLAN, OR ZONING (Pub Res C §21083.3) 10.33
    • A. Types of Previous Zoning or Planning Actions Covered by Pub Res C §21083.3 10.34
    • B. Limits on Applicability of Pub Res C §21083.3 10.35
      • 1. Impacts "Peculiar to" Parcel or Project 10.36
      • 2. Effect on Analysis of Off-Site and Cumulative Impacts 10.37
    • C. Procedures for Applying Pub Res C §21083.3
      • 1. Applicable Mitigation Measures Identified in Prior EIR Must Be Imposed 10.38
      • 2. Procedure for Determining Impacts That Are Exempt From Further Review 10.39
    • D. Effect of Pub Res C §21083.3 as CEQA Exemption 10.40
  • VII. STREAMLINED REVIEW OF QUALIFYING INFILL PROJECTS 10.40A
  • VIII. STAGED EIRs 10.41
    • A. When Staging May Be Used 10.42
    • B. When First Approval Must Be Granted by Responsible Agency, Not Lead Agency 10.43
    • C. When Agency May Decline to Prepare Staged EIR as Lead Agency 10.44
  • IX. EXEMPTIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER PROJECTS CONSISTENT WITH A SPECIFIC PLAN 10.45
  • X. FOCUSED EIR FOR SMALL MULTIPLE-FAMILY OR MIXED-USE RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS CONSISTENT WITH LOCAL PLAN OR ZONING 10.46
  • XI. STRUCTURING THE LAND USE APPROVAL PROCESS TO STREAMLINE CEQA REVIEW 10.47
  • XII. COMBINING GENERAL PLAN AND EIR 10.48
  • XIII. USE OF EIR FROM EARLIER PROJECT
    • A. When Authorized 10.49
    • B. Required Procedures
      • 1. Initial Study 10.50
      • 2. Public Review 10.51
      • 3. Agency Actions After Public Review 10.52
    • C. Adoption of Negative Declaration Based on Previous EIR 10.53
  • XIV. USE OF SINGLE EIR FOR MULTIPLE PROJECTS 10.54
  • XV. MASTER ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS (MEAs) 10.55
    • A. Contents of MEAs 10.56
    • B. Preparation of MEAs 10.57
    • C. Uses for MEAs 10.58
  • XVI. EXPANDED EIR PROCESS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS 10.59
    • A. Qualifying as Environmental Leadership Development Project 10.60
    • B. Expanded Public Notice and Document Availability Requirements 10.61

11

Substantive Requirements for EIRs

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 11.1
  • II. NATURE AND PURPOSES OF EIR 11.2
  • III. EIR CONTENT AND FORMAT REQUIREMENTS
    • A. EIR Contents 11.3
      • 1. Table of Contents or Index 11.4
      • 2. Summary 11.5
      • 3. List of Organizations and Persons Consulted 11.6
      • 4. EIR Preparers 11.7
      • 5. Project Description 11.8
      • 6. Environmental Setting 11.9
      • 7. Environmental Impacts 11.10
      • 8. Cumulative Impacts 11.11
      • 9. Mitigation Measures 11.12
      • 10. Alternatives 11.13
      • 11. Growth-Inducing Impacts 11.14
      • 12. Unavoidable Environmental Effects 11.15
      • 13. Irreversible Environmental Changes 11.16
    • B. EIR Format
      • 1. Any Format May Be Used 11.17
      • 2. Use of Combined Documents 11.18
      • 3. Length 11.19
      • 4. Clear Presentation of Information 11.20
    • C. Methods for Incorporating Information in EIR 11.21
      • 1. Placing Technical Information in EIR Appendixes 11.22
      • 2. Citation to Technical Information 11.23
      • 3. Incorporation by Reference
        • a. Procedure for Incorporating Material 11.24
        • b. Explanation of Material Being Incorporated 11.25
        • c. Checklist: Requirements for Incorporation by Reference 11.26
      • 4. Other Methods for Simplifying Preparation 11.27
  • IV. STANDARDS FOR EIR'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
    • A. General Standards for EIR Adequacy 11.28
    • B. Level of Detail Required
      • 1. General Standards 11.29
      • 2. Level of Specificity Depends on Nature of Project 11.30
      • 3. Deferring Specific Analysis to Future EIRs 11.31
      • 4. EIR Should Make Reasonable Forecasts 11.32
      • 5. EIR Should Avoid Speculation 11.33
    • C. Requirement for Fact-Based Analysis 11.34
    • D. Effect of Disagreements Over Data or Methodology 11.35
    • E. Effect of Requests for Further Studies 11.36
  • V. STANDARDS FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW 11.37
    • A. Substantial Evidence Standard
      • 1. Application to EIRs 11.38
      • 2. Examples of Application 11.39
    • B. Compliance With Provisions of Law
      • 1. Compliance With Substantive Requirements for Contents of EIR 11.40
      • 2. Compliance With Procedural Requirements 11.41
      • 3. Limitation to Explicitly Stated Requirements of Law 11.42
    • C. Role of Comment and Response Process in Determining EIR Adequacy 11.43

12

Project Description, Setting, and Baseline

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 12.1
  • II. PROJECT DESCRIPTION
    • A. Legal Requirements 12.2
    • B. Level of Detail Required 12.3
    • C. Need Not Include Information Not Required by Guidelines 12.4
    • D. Location in EIR 12.5
    • E. Checklist: Project Description 12.6
    • F. Adequacy Requirements for Project Description
      • 1. Description Must Be Accurate 12.7
      • 2. Required Scope of Project Description
        • a. Description Must Include All Components of Project 12.8
        • b. Description Must Include Foreseeable Future Activities That Are Consequence of Project Approval 12.9
        • c. Description Need Not Include Future Activities That Are Not Foreseeable Consequences of Project 12.10
        • d. Description Need Not Include Separate Projects Having Utility Independent of Proposed Project 12.10A
        • e. Separate Projects May Be Reviewed in Single EIR 12.10B
      • 3. Description Must Be Stable and Consistent 12.11
    • G. Technical Requirements for Project Description
      • 1. Location, Boundaries, and Maps 12.12
      • 2. Statement of Objectives 12.13
      • 3. Description of Project's Technical, Economic, and Environmental Characteristics 12.14
      • 4. List of Intended Uses of EIR 12.15
  • III. ENVIRONMENTAL SETTING AND BASELINE 12.16
    • A. Legal Requirements for Setting Discussion 12.17
    • B. Format for Describing Environmental Setting 12.18
    • C. Determination of the Baseline
      • 1. General Rule: Existing Physical Conditions 12.19
      • 2. Defining Existing Conditions 12.20
      • 3. Baseline for Planning Actions 12.21
      • 4. Existing Facilities and Operations Baseline 12.22
      • 5. Baseline for Changes to Previously Reviewed Projects 12.23
      • 6. Effect of Past Illegal Activity 12.24
      • 7. Use of Future Baseline 12.25
      • 8. Special Rules for Military Base Reuse Plans 12.26
  • IV. INCONSISTENCY WITH APPLICABLE PLANS 12.27
    • A. Guidelines Requirement 12.28
    • B. Discussion of Consistency May Be Provided 12.29
    • C. Plans Covered by Inconsistency Requirement 12.30
    • D. Potentially Applicable Plans 12.31
    • E. Location of Analysis in EIR 12.32
    • F. Determining Consistency or Inconsistency 12.33
    • G. Plan Inconsistencies and Significant Environmental Effects 12.34
    • H. Drafting Suggestions for Plan Inconsistency Analysis 12.35

13

Significant Environmental Effects

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 13.1
  • II. IDENTIFICATION OF SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS 13.2
    • A. Definition of Significant Environmental Impacts
      • 1. Significant Adverse Change to Environment 13.3
      • 2. Must Affect Environment in General 13.4
      • 3. Treatment of Impacts of Environment on Project 13.5
    • B. Required Elements of Impact Assessment 13.6
    • C. Existing Conditions as Baseline for Measuring Impacts 13.7
  • III. STANDARDS OF SIGNIFICANCE
    • A. Lead Agency Has Discretion to Set Standards of Significance 13.8
    • B. Basis for Standards of Significance 13.9
      • 1. Project-Specific Significance Thresholds 13.10
      • 2. Lead Agency Policies 13.11
      • 3. Formally Adopted Thresholds of Significance 13.12
      • 4. Regulatory Agency Performance Standards 13.13
      • 5. Significance Standards Recommended by Regulatory Agencies 13.14
      • 6. Standards in CEQA Guidelines Appendix G 13.15
      • 7. Other Provisions of the CEQA Guidelines 13.16
    • C. Effect of Comments Relating to Standards of Significance 13.17
  • IV. SCOPE OF IMPACT ANALYSIS 13.18
    • A. Identification of Issues to Be Analyzed 13.19
    • B. Analysis of Direct Effects 13.20
    • C. Impact Analysis Must Cover Entire Project 13.21
    • D. Analysis of Indirect Effects 13.22
    • E. Treatment of Economic and Social Effects
      • 1. Must Be Related to Physical Impacts 13.23
      • 2. May Be Considered if a Cause of Physical Changes 13.24
      • 3. May Be Considered in Determining Whether Physical Changes Are Significant 13.25
    • F. Standards for an Adequate Impact Assessment 13.26
  • V. EXPLANATION OF IMPACT FINDINGS 13.27
    • A. Description of Significant Impacts 13.28
    • B. Description of Unavoidable Significant Impacts 13.29
    • C. Description of Significant Irreversible Impacts 13.30
    • D. Description of Insignificant Environmental Effects
      • 1. EIR Must Indicate Reasons for Determining Impacts to Be Insignificant 13.31
      • 2. Effect of Later, Differing Information 13.32
    • E. Findings Should Accompany Each Section of EIR 13.33
    • F. Comparison of Project's Impacts and Benefits Not Required
      • 1. Cost-Benefit Studies Not Required 13.34
      • 2. Project's Benefits May Be Identified 13.35
      • 3. Relevant Economic and Social Information May Be Included 13.36
  • VI. ANALYSIS OF CUMULATIVE IMPACTS
    • A. Significant Cumulative Impacts Must Be Discussed 13.37
    • B. Cumulative Impacts Defined 13.38
    • C. Requirements for Analysis
      • 1. Significant Cumulative Impacts Must Be Discussed 13.39
      • 2. Insignificant Cumulative Impacts Should Be Discussed Briefly 13.40
    • D. Framework for Analysis 13.41
      • 1. List-of-Projects Method 13.42
      • 2. Summary-of-Projections Method 13.43
    • E. Required Scope of Analysis
      • 1. Projects Causing Related Impacts 13.44
      • 2. Geographic Scope 13.45
    • F. Contents of Impact Analysis
      • 1. Requirements for Adequate Analysis of Cumulative Impacts 13.46
      • 2. Conclusory Discussion Not Sufficient 13.47
      • 3. Level of Detail Required 13.48
      • 4. Discussion May Incorporate Information in Previous EIRs 13.49
      • 5. Discussion May Rely on Analysis in Prior Plans or EIRs 13.50
      • 6. Format and Location of Discussion of Cumulative Impacts 13.51
    • G. Determining Significance of Cumulative Impacts 13.52
    • H. Mitigation of Cumulative Impacts 13.53
  • VII. GROWTH-INDUCING IMPACTS
    • A. EIR Must Analyze Growth-Inducing Impacts 13.54
    • B. Practical Suggestions for Analyzing Growth-Inducing Impacts 13.55
  • VIII. STANDARDS FOR EVALUATING PARTICULAR IMPACTS 13.56
    • A. Archaeological Resources 13.57
    • B. Historical Resources 13.58
    • C. Energy Use 13.59
    • D. Air Quality 13.60
    • E. Biological Resources 13.61
    • F. Water Supplies
      • 1. Statutory Requirements 13.62
      • 2. Standards for Impact Analysis 13.63
    • G. Urban Decay 13.64
    • H. Hazardous Waste and Release Sites 13.65
    • I. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change 13.66
    • J. Seismic Safety 13.66A
    • K. Visual and Aesthetic Resources 13.66B
    • L. Tribal Cultural Resources 13.66C
    • M. Transportation and Traffic 13.66D
    • N. Parking Shortages 13.66E

14

Mitigation Measures

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 14.1
  • II. EIR MUST DESCRIBE MITIGATION MEASURES FOR SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
    • A. Standards for Discussion of Mitigation Measures 14.2
    • B. When Identification of Mitigation Measures Is Required
      • 1. Mitigation Required for Significant Environmental Impacts 14.3
      • 2. Not Required for Insignificant Impacts 14.4
      • 3. Mitigation Not Required for Economic and Social Effects 14.5
  • III. WHAT IS A MITIGATION MEASURE?
    • A. Definition of Mitigation 14.6
    • B. Examples of Mitigation Measures by Category 14.7
  • IV. DEVELOPING LEGALLY ADEQUATE MITIGATION MEASURES 14.8
    • A. Effectiveness of Proposed Mitigation Measures 14.9
    • B. Ineffective or Infeasible Measures Need Not Be Discussed 14.10
    • C. Level of Specificity Required 14.11
    • D. Deferred Formulation of Mitigation Measures 14.12
    • E. Including Future Impact Studies in Mitigation Measures 14.13
    • F. Payment of Fees as Mitigation 14.14
    • G. Compliance With Regulatory Standards as Mitigation 14.15
    • H. Incorporating Mitigation Measures Into Plan Policies 14.16
    • I. Discussion of Significant Impacts Caused by Mitigation Measures 14.17
    • J. Mitigation of Cumulative Impacts
      • 1. Duty to Mitigate 14.18
      • 2. Use of Fee-Based Mitigation Programs 14.19
      • 3. Limitations on Project's Share of Mitigation Costs 14.20
  • V. MITIGATION STANDARDS FOR PARTICULAR TYPES OF IMPACTS 14.21
  • VI. ENFORCEABILITY OF MITIGATION MEASURES
    • A. Mitigation Measures Must Be Enforceable 14.22
    • B. Agency Must Adopt Mitigation Monitoring Program 14.23
  • VII. PUBLIC AGENCIES' AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE MITIGATION
    • A. Powers Available to Public Agencies 14.24
    • B. Limitations on Agencies' Authority to Require Mitigation
      • 1. Specific Statutory Limitations
        • a. CEQA Does Not Expand Agency Authority to Impose Conditions 14.25
        • b. Legally Infeasible Mitigation Measures 14.26
        • c. Limitations on Mitigation Measures That Reduce Housing Units 14.27
        • d. Limitations on Mitigation Measures to Reduce School Impacts 14.28
        • e. Limitations on Mitigation of Archaeological Impacts 14.29
        • f. Limitations on Mitigation Measures That Reduce Vehicle Trips 14.30
        • g. Treatment of Increased Demands on Public Facilities, Services, and Utilities 14.31
      • 2. General Statutory Limitations 14.32
      • 3. Constitutional Limitations 14.33
      • 4. Use of EIR to Establish Reasonableness of Exaction 14.34
  • VIII. CHANGES IN MITIGATION MEASURES AFTER PROJECT APPROVAL 14.35

15

Project Alternatives

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 15.1
  • II. EIR MUST DISCUSS PROJECT ALTERNATIVES
    • A. Overview 15.2
    • B. Types of Alternatives 15.3
    • C. Discussion of Alternatives Required Even if Project's Impacts Will Be Mitigated 15.4
  • III. SELECTING ALTERNATIVES FOR DISCUSSION IN EIR 15.5
    • A. Threshold Criteria for Identifying Suitable Alternatives 15.6
      • 1. Alternatives Must Reduce or Avoid Significant Environmental Impacts 15.7
      • 2. Alternatives Must Implement Most Basic Project Objectives 15.8
      • 3. Alternatives Must Be Potentially Feasible 15.9
        • a. Economic Infeasibility 15.9A
        • b. Legal Infeasibility 15.9B
        • c. Feasibility Is Considered at Two Stages 15.9C
      • 4. Alternatives Must Be Reasonable 15.10
    • B. Identification of Reasonable Range of Alternatives for Review in EIR 15.11
      • 1. Scope of Alternatives Comprising Reasonable Range 15.12
      • 2. EIR Need Not Consider Multiple Variations on Alternatives 15.13
      • 3. EIR Need Not Consider Alternatives That Do Not Offer Significant Environmental Advantages 15.14
      • 4. EIR Need Not Consider Alternatives to Components of Project 15.15
    • C. Procedure for Selecting Reasonable Range of Alternatives 15.16
    • D. Standard for Adequacy of Range of Alternatives 15.17
  • IV. DISCUSSION OF NO-PROJECT ALTERNATIVE 15.18
    • A. Standards for Defining No-Project Alternative 15.19
    • B. Application to Modifications of Policies or Ongoing Operations 15.20
    • C. Application to New Development Projects 15.21
    • D. Analysis of No-Project Alternative 15.22
  • V. DISCUSSION OF ALTERNATIVE SITES 15.23
    • A. When Discussion of Alternative Sites Is Appropriate 15.24
      • 1. Private Projects Consistent With Land Use Plan 15.25
      • 2. Proposals to Change Land Use Plan 15.26
      • 3. Public Agency Projects 15.27
    • B. Process for Screening Alternative Sites 15.28
    • C. Criteria for Assessing Feasibility of Alternative Sites 15.29
      • 1. Consistency With Plans and Regulatory Limitations 15.30
      • 2. Ownership or Ability to Acquire Alternative Site 15.31
      • 3. Jurisdictional Boundaries 15.32
      • 4. Site Suitability and Availability of Infrastructure 15.33
      • 5. Economic Viability 15.34
  • VI. WHAT CONSTITUTES ADEQUATE DISCUSSION OF ALTERNATIVES 15.35
    • A. Description and Analysis of Alternatives 15.36
    • B. Identification of Environmentally Superior Alternative 15.37
    • C. Describing Basis for Selection of Alternatives Discussed in EIR 15.38
    • D. Explaining Reasons for Excluding Alternatives From EIR 15.39
  • VII. TREATMENT OF ALTERNATIVES PROPOSED BY THE PUBLIC AND OTHER AGENCIES
    • A. Lead Agency's Duty to Present Reasonable Range of Alternatives Is Independent of Comments 15.40
    • B. Treatment of Alternatives Suggested in Comments on Draft EIR 15.41
    • C. Alternatives Proposed After Close of Public Comment Period 15.42

16

Final EIRs

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 16.1
  • II. CHECKLIST: CONTENTS OF FINAL EIRs 16.2
  • III. PREPARATION OF FINAL EIRs
    • A. Requirements for Preparation 16.3
    • B. Requirements for Approval 16.4
    • C. Time Limits 16.5
    • D. If Lead Agency Determines That Final EIR Is Inadequate 16.6
  • IV. RESPONSES TO COMMENTS ON DRAFT EIR
    • A. Legal Requirements 16.7
    • B. Distribution of Responses 16.8
    • C. Methods of Responding to Comments 16.9
    • D. Who Prepares Responses 16.10
    • E. Specificity Required in Responses 16.11
    • F. Responses to Late Comments 16.12
  • V. REVIEW OF FINAL EIR
    • A. Public Review Optional 16.13
    • B. Distribution of Responses to Commenting Agencies 16.14
  • VI. RECIRCULATION OF EIR
    • A. EIR Recirculation Standard
      • 1. New Information Added to Final EIR 16.15
        • a. Recirculation Required for Significant New Information 16.15A
        • b. Recirculation Not Required for Clarifications or Minor Modifications 16.15B
        • c. Recirculation for New Potentially Significant Impacts 16.15C
        • d. Recirculation for New Mitigation Measures or Alternatives 16.15D
        • e. Recirculation for Fundamentally Inadequate Draft EIR 16.15E
        • f. Standard of Review for Agency Recirculation Determination 16.15F
      • 2. No New Information Added to EIR 16.16
    • B. Options for Recirculation 16.17
      • 1. Recirculation of a Portion of the EIR 16.18
      • 2. Recirculation of Entire Draft EIR 16.19
      • 3. Recirculation of Draft of Final EIR 16.20
    • C. Recirculation Procedure 16.21
  • VII. DISPOSITION OF FINAL EIR 16.22

17

Project Approval and Findings

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 17.1
  • II. CERTIFICATION OF EIR AND DECISION TO APPROVE PROJECT
    • A. Requirements for Project Approval 17.2
      • 1. Checklist: Requirements for Project Approval Following Preparation of EIR 17.3
      • 2. Lead Agency Certification of Final EIR 17.4
        • a. Certification That Final EIR Complies With CEQA 17.5
        • b. Certification That Final EIR Reflects Agency's Independent Judgment 17.6
        • c. Certification That Decision-Makers Reviewed and Considered EIR Information 17.7
    • B. Project Approval 17.8
      • 1. Disapproval of Project 17.9
      • 2. Approval of Project as Mitigated 17.10
      • 3. Approval of Project Alternative 17.11
      • 4. Approval of Project With Unavoidable Impacts 17.12
    • C. Requirements for Adoption of Mitigation Measures 17.13
    • D. Limitations on Mitigation Measures or Alternatives That Reduce Housing 17.14
    • E. Notice and Hearing 17.15
  • III. FINDINGS
    • A. Findings Required for Significant Impacts 17.16
    • B. Findings Not Required for Insignificant Impacts 17.17
    • C. Findings Must Be Adopted by Decision-Making Body 17.18
      • 1. Findings Concerning Mitigation of Significant Impacts 17.19
        • a. Contents of Finding 17.20
        • b. Basis for Finding Should Be Clear From Record 17.21
        • c. Finding of Mitigation Should Be Supported by Evidence in Record 17.22
        • d. Findings Rejecting Mitigation Measures 17.23
        • e. Finding That Mitigation Is the Responsibility of Another Agency 17.24
      • 2. Findings Concerning Project Alternatives
        • a. Findings Requirement 17.25
        • b. Findings Not Required if Project's Impacts Are Mitigated 17.26
      • 3. Findings That Mitigation Measures or Alternatives Are Infeasible 17.27
        • a. Reasons Must Be Stated 17.28
        • b. Basis for Infeasibility Finding
          • (1) Inconsistency With Agency Goals or Policies 17.29
          • (2) Failure to Meet Project Objectives 17.30
          • (3) Economic Infeasibility 17.31
    • D. Statement of Overriding Considerations
      • 1. When Statement Required 17.32
      • 2. Procedural Requirements 17.33
      • 3. Contents 17.34
    • E. Identification of Custodian of the Record and Maintenance of Approval Documents 17.35
    • F. Form and Content of Findings
      • 1. Legal Requirements 17.36
      • 2. Agency Should Explain Link Between Findings and Facts 17.37
      • 3. Types of Acceptable Findings 17.38
      • 4. Contents of Written Findings 17.39
      • 5. Form Findings Provisions 17.40
        • a. Form: Air Quality Impacts That Will Be Mitigated 17.41
        • b. Form: Significant Impacts on Wildlife Habitat 17.42
        • c. Form: Rejecting No-Project Alternative 17.43
        • d. Form: Statement of Overriding Considerations 17.44
        • e. Form: Specifying the Location and Custodian of the Record 17.45
  • IV. NOTICE OF DETERMINATION
    • A. Required Contents 17.46
    • B. Filing, Posting, and Mailing 17.47
  • V. PAYMENT OF FISH AND GAME CODE FILING FEE
    • A. Legal Requirements 17.48
    • B. Payment Requirements 17.49
    • C. Exemptions 17.50
    • D. Effect of Failure to Pay Fee 17.51
  • VI. PROJECT APPROVAL BY RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES 17.52
    • A. Decision Whether to Approve Project 17.53
    • B. Adoption of Mitigation Measures or Alternatives 17.54
    • C. Adoption of Findings and Statement of Overriding Considerations 17.55
    • D. Authority to Require Further Environmental Review 17.56

18

Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 18.1
  • II. PURPOSE OF MITIGATION MONITORING 18.2
  • III. PROJECTS COVERED BY MONITORING OR REPORTING REQUIREMENT
    • A. Projects Based on EIRs or Mitigated Negative Declarations 18.3
    • B. Functionally Equivalent Documents 18.4
    • C. Subsequent Approvals for Projects Approved Before January 1, 1989 18.5
  • IV. REQUIREMENTS FOR MONITORING OR REPORTING PROGRAMS
    • A. When Program Must Be Adopted 18.6
    • B. Monitoring or Reporting 18.7
    • C. Types of Monitoring and Reporting Programs 18.8
    • D. Incorporation of Mitigation Measures Into Governing Plan 18.9
    • E. Frequency and Timing of Monitoring or Reporting 18.10
    • F. Duration of Monitoring or Reporting Requirements 18.11
    • G. Monitoring or Reporting Need Not Be Set Forth in EIR or Negative Declaration 18.12
    • H. Remedies for Agency's Failure to Adopt Program 18.13
  • V. IMPLEMENTATION OF MONITORING OR REPORTING PROGRAM
    • A. Enforcement Mechanisms 18.14
    • B. Changes in Mitigation Measures as Result of Monitoring 18.15
    • C. Coordination With Responsible and Trustee Agencies 18.16
      • 1. Contents of Reporting or Monitoring Program 18.17
      • 2. Performance Objectives or Guidelines 18.18
    • D. Coordination With Transportation Planning Agencies 18.19
    • E. Format for Mitigation Monitoring or Reporting Progress 18.20

19

Subsequent and Supplemental EIRs

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 19.1
  • II. WHEN FURTHER ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW IS REQUIRED
    • A. Legal Requirements 19.2
    • B. Methods of Further Review 19.3
      • 1. Subsequent EIR 19.4
      • 2. Supplemental EIR 19.5
      • 3. Addendum to EIR 19.6
      • 4. Subsequent Negative Declaration 19.7
      • 5. Addendum to Negative Declaration 19.8
  • III. STATUTORY TRIGGERS FOR PREPARATION OF SUBSEQUENT OR SUPPLEMENTAL EIR
    • A. Change in Project
      • 1. Legal Requirements 19.9
      • 2. Magnitude of Project Changes 19.10
      • 3. New Significant Impacts
        • a. Changes Must Result in New or More Severe Significant Impacts 19.11
        • b. Effect of Measures to Mitigate New or More Severe Impacts 19.12
      • 4. Were Impacts Previously Considered? 19.13
    • B. Change in Circumstances
      • 1. Legal Requirements 19.14
      • 2. Changed Circumstances Must Be Substantial 19.15
      • 3. Changed Circumstances Must Create New or More Severe Significant Impacts 19.16
      • 4. Consideration in Previous EIR or Negative Declaration 19.17
    • C. Availability of New Information
      • 1. Legal Requirements 19.18
      • 2. Information Must Have Become Available After EIR Was Certified or Negative Declaration Was Approved 19.19
      • 3. New Information Must Be of Substantial Importance to Project 19.20
      • 4. New Information Must Not Have Been Previously Available 19.21
  • IV. WHEN MUST FURTHER ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW BE CONSIDERED? 19.22
    • A. Before Initial Project Approval by Lead Agency 19.23
      • 1. Before Completion of Final EIR 19.24
      • 2. After Completion, But Before Certification, of Final EIR 19.25
      • 3. After Certification of Final EIR 19.26
      • 4. After Adoption of Negative Declaration 19.27
    • B. Before Approval by Responsible Agency
      • 1. Duty to Evaluate Need for Further EIR 19.28
      • 2. Preparation of Further EIR by Responsible Agency 19.29
    • C. Before Further Project Approval by Lead Agency 19.30
    • D. After All Discretionary Approvals Have Been Granted 19.31
    • E. Significant Changes to Project After All Discretionary Approvals Have Been Granted 19.32
    • F. New Applications for Previously Approved Projects 19.33
  • V. APPLICATION OF SUBSEQUENT REVIEW STANDARDS WHEN PREVIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT WAS NOT PROJECT EIR
    • A. Previous Negative Declaration 19.34
    • B. Previous Determination of Exemption 19.35
    • C. Special Situations 19.36
  • VI. PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING WHETHER TO REQUIRE FURTHER EIR
    • A. Determination of Whether Further EIR Required 19.37
    • B. Basis for Agency Decision 19.38
      • 1. Issues Agency Considers 19.39
      • 2. Evaluation of Evidence 19.40
    • C. Procedures for Agency's Determination 19.41
      • 1. Addendum to EIR or Negative Declaration 19.42
      • 2. Subsequent Negative Declaration 19.43
      • 3. Use of Initial Study Form 19.44
      • 4. Any Procedure That Results in Fact-Based Determination Is Sufficient 19.45
        • a. Findings Not Required 19.46
        • b. Recertification of EIR Not Required 19.47
    • D. Public Participation
      • 1. Opportunity to Comment 19.48
      • 2. Public Hearings 19.49
    • E. Findings Concerning New Significant Impacts 19.50
      • 1. Lead Agencies 19.51
      • 2. Responsible Agencies 19.52
    • F. Notice of Determination 19.53
  • VII. SCOPE OF SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW 19.54
  • VIII. STANDARDS FOR JUDICIAL REVIEW 19.55

20

Relationship Between CEQA and Other Statutes and Programs

  • I. LAND USE, PLANNING, AND ZONING 20.1
    • A. Local Planning Law
      • 1. General and Specific Plans 20.2
      • 2. Relationship Between General Plan and CEQA 20.3
      • 3. General Plan Activities Exempt From CEQA 20.4
      • 4. Combining General Plan and General Plan EIR 20.5
    • B. Other Planning Laws 20.6
    • C. Local Zoning Laws
      • 1. Local Zoning Ordinances 20.7
      • 2. Relationship to CEQA 20.8
    • D. Subdivision Map Act
      • 1. Environmental Review Under Map Act 20.9
      • 2. Map Act Time Limits 20.10
    • E. Processing Time Limits Under CEQA, Subdivision Map Act, and Permit Streamlining Act
      • 1. General CEQA Provisions for Projects With Short Time Periods for Approval 20.11
      • 2. CEQA and Subdivision Map Act Time Limits 20.12
      • 3. CEQA and Permit Streamlining Act Requirements 20.13
        • a. Time Limits 20.14
        • b. Judicial Interpretation of Act 20.15
        • c. Relationship Between Act and CEQA 20.16
    • F. Redevelopment Law and Successor Agencies
      • 1. Successor Agencies After 2011 Abolition of Redevelopment Agencies 20.17
      • 2. Previously Adopted Redevelopment Plans 20.17A
      • 3. CEQA Provisions Governing Actions Under Redevelopment Plan 20.17B
    • G. Regional Land Use and Planning Statutes
      • 1. California Coastal Act 20.18
      • 2. Regional Commissions 20.19
        • a. San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission 20.20
        • b. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency 20.21
        • c. Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy 20.22
        • d. Delta Protection Commission 20.23
        • e. Central Valley Flood Protection Board 20.24
    • H. Williamson Act 20.25
    • I. Vested Rights Doctrine and Vesting Mechanisms 20.26
      • 1. Vested Rights Doctrine 20.27
      • 2. Development Agreements 20.28
      • 3. Vesting Subdivision Maps 20.29
      • 4. Vested Rights Considerations in CEQA Decisions
        • a. Inclusion of Development Agreement or Vesting Map in Project Description 20.30
        • b. Coordinating Mitigation Measures and Mitigation Monitoring 20.31
        • c. Development Agreement Provisions on Subsequent CEQA Review 20.32
        • d. Application of CEQA to Projects With Vested Rights 20.33
    • J. Annexations; Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act 20.34
    • K. Other Land Use Laws and Regulations
      • 1. Integrated Waste Management Act 20.35
      • 2. Hazardous Waste Management Plans 20.36
      • 3. Seismic Safety 20.37
      • 4. Flood Prevention 20.38
      • 5. Airport Land Use Planning 20.39
      • 6. Family Day Care Zoning 20.40
      • 7. Solar Shade Control 20.41
  • II. ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION AND HAZARDOUS SITES 20.42
    • A. Application of CEQA to Rulemaking Proceedings 20.43
    • B. Application of CEQA to Permitting and Cleanup Actions
      • 1. Role of Lead and Responsible Agencies 20.44
      • 2. Permit Coordination Procedures 20.45
    • C. Provisions for Streamlined CEQA Review of Projects Implementing Pollution Control Regulations 20.46
    • D. CEQA Exemptions That May Apply to Actions Protecting the Environment
      • 1. List of Possible Exemptions 20.47
      • 2. Exemption Procedure 20.48
    • E. Hazardous Substance Issues and CEQA
      • 1. "Cortese" List of Hazardous Waste Sites 20.49
      • 2. Review of Hazardous Substance Issues in CEQA Documents 20.50
      • 3. Special Provisions on Hazardous Waste Management Facilities 20.51
      • 4. Mandatory EIR Requirements for Certain Hazardous Waste Facilities 20.52
  • III. PROTECTED SPECIES
    • A. Statutes Protecting Special Status Species 20.53
    • B. Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA)
      • 1. Prohibition of Taking Listed Species 20.54
      • 2. Section 7 Consultations for Federal Agency Approvals 20.55
      • 3. Section 10 Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plans 20.56
    • C. California Endangered Species Act (CESA)
      • 1. Prohibition of Taking Listed Species 20.57
      • 2. Incidental Take Approvals 20.58
    • D. Natural Resource Protection Plans
      • 1. Natural Community Conservation Plans 20.59
      • 2. Wildlife Protection Management Plans 20.60
    • E. Other Fish and Game Code Species Protections
      • 1. Fully Protected Species 20.60A
      • 2. Protections for Bird Nests and Eggs 20.60B
      • 3. Protections for Raptors 20.60C
    • F. Treatment of Endangered Species Under CEQA
      • 1. Definitions 20.61
      • 2. Consultation Requirements 20.62
      • 3. Exceptions to Categorical Exemptions 20.63
      • 4. EIR Preparation Requirement 20.64
      • 5. EIR Thresholds of Significance 20.65
      • 6. Impact Analysis and Mitigation 20.66
  • IV. WETLANDS 20.67
    • A. Federal Regulations 20.68
      • 1. Definition of Wetlands 20.69
      • 2. Army Corps of Engineers Permitting Process 20.70
        • a. General and Nationwide Permits 20.71
        • b. Individual Permits 20.72
    • B. California Wetlands Regulation 20.73
    • C. CEQA and Wetlands Regulation 20.74
  • V. WATER SUPPLIES
    • A. Statutes Related to Adequacy of Water Supplies 20.75
    • B. SB 610 Water Supply Assessments 20.76
    • C. SB 221 Water Supply Verifications 20.77
    • D. Urban Water Management Plans 20.78
    • E. Other Statutes Related to Evaluation of Water Supply Issues 20.79
    • F. CEQA Requirements for Evaluation of Water Supply Impacts 20.80
  • VI. GREENHOUSE GAS (GHG) EMISSIONS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
    • A. Background 20.81
    • B. Currently Available Guidance Documents 20.81A
    • C. Effect of Evolving Regulatory Standards 20.81B
    • D. Recent Developments Relating to Climate Change Issues 20.81C
    • E. Suggestions for Analysis of Climate Change Issues 20.81D
      • 1. Determine Whether Evaluation Required 20.82
      • 2. Evaluate Issue as a Cumulative Impact 20.83
      • 3. Describe Preproject Conditions and Project Contribution 20.84
      • 4. Evaluate Mitigation 20.85
      • 5. Evaluate Significance of the Project's Contribution 20.86
        • a. Qualitative Determinations 20.86A
        • b. Using AB 32 Compliance to Determine Significance 20.86B
        • c. Using Air District Significance Thresholds 20.86C
        • d. Using Agency-Developed Thresholds 20.86D
        • e. Finding That Any Significance Determination Would Be Speculative 20.86E
    • F. Suggestions for Analyzing Climate Change Impacts on a Project 20.87
    • G. Climate Change, Negative Declarations, and Exemptions 20.88
    • H. SB 375: Linking Transportation, Land Use, and CEQA to Reduce GHG Emissions
      • 1. Overview of SB 375 Transportation Planning and GHG Reduction Provisions 20.88A
      • 2. Streamlined Review for Consistent Residential Projects 20.88B
      • 3. Streamlining for Transit Priority Projects
        • a. Definition of Transit Priority Project 20.88C
        • b. Statutory Exemption for Certain Transit Priority Projects 20.88D
        • c. Streamlined Review for Transit Priority Projects That Incorporate Prior Mitigation 20.88E
          • (1) Sustainable Communities Environmental Assessments 20.88F
          • (2) Streamlined EIRs 20.88G
        • d. Optional Limitations on Traffic Mitigation 20.88H
  • VII. HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES 20.89
    • A. Historic Preservation Law in California 20.90
    • B. CEQA and Preservation of Historic Resources
      • 1. Discretionary Versus Ministerial Activity 20.91
      • 2. Categorical and Emergency Exemptions 20.92
      • 3. Segmentation of Projects 20.93
    • C. Determination of Whether Site Is Historical Resource 20.94
      • 1. Mandatory Historical Resources 20.95
      • 2. Presumptive Historical Resources 20.96
      • 3. Discretionary Historical Resources 20.97
      • 4. Effect of Listing Criteria 20.98
    • D. Assessing and Mitigating Impacts to Historical Resources 20.99
    • E. Tribal Cultural Resources 20.100
  • VIII. ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES AND NATIVE AMERICAN BURIAL SITES 20.101
    • A. Federal Requirements 20.102
    • B. State Requirements
      • 1. Statutes Governing Native American Sites and Human Remains 20.103
      • 2. CEQA Standards for Archaeological Resources 20.104
      • 3. Assessing Impacts to Archaeological Resources 20.105
      • 4. Standards for Mitigating Impacts to Unique Archaeological Resources
        • a. Methods for Mitigating Impacts 20.106
        • b. Cost Limits for Required Mitigation 20.107
        • c. Time Limits on Completion of Mitigation 20.108
        • d. Resources Discovered During Construction 20.109
        • e. Other Provisions 20.110
      • 5. Mitigation Standards for Impacts to Historic Archaeological Resources 20.111
  • IX. RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS
    • A. Provisions of CEQA Relating to Housing 20.112
      • 1. Exemptions Relating to Housing Projects 20.113
      • 2. Streamlined Review Procedures for Certain Housing Projects 20.114
      • 3. Limitations on Reducing Housing Units as Mitigation 20.115
    • B. Bureau of Real Estate (BRE)
      • 1. BRE's Limited Role in CEQA Approvals 20.116
      • 2. BRE Concerns Regarding CEQA Mitigation Measures 20.117
  • X. SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES
    • A. Higher Education Sites and Long-Range Plans 20.118
    • B. Local School District Decisions
      • 1. Time for CEQA Compliance 20.119
      • 2. Consultation Requirements 20.120
      • 3. Requirements for School Siting Analysis 20.121
    • C. Imposition of School Fees 20.122
    • D. Exemptions Relating to Schools
      • 1. School Closings 20.123
      • 2. School Land Bank Acquisitions 20.124
      • 3. Educational Facilities Bonds 20.125
  • XI. ENERGY FACILITIES
    • A. Energy Facility Siting 20.126
    • B. Thermal Power Plants 20.127
    • C. Geothermal Energy Exploration 20.128
    • D. Oil and Gas Production; Hydraulic Fracturing 20.129
  • XII. ROADS AND HIGHWAYS
    • A. Congestion Management and Transportation Improvement Programs 20.130
    • B. Caltrans Encroachment Permits 20.131
    • C. Consultation Requirements 20.132
    • D. Acquisition of Property for Designated Transportation Corridors 20.133
    • E. Master EIR for Highway Projects 20.134
    • F. Highway Segmentation Issues 20.135
  • XIII. MINING AND MINERAL RESOURCES
    • A. Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) 20.136
    • B. Relationship Between CEQA and SMARA 20.137
    • C. EIR Requirement for Certain Open-Pit Mines 20.138
    • D. Projects Affecting Mineral Resource Areas 20.139
    • E. CEQA Cases Relating to Mining Projects 20.140
  • XIV. STATE LANDS
    • A. State Lands Commission Jurisdiction 20.141
    • B. Statutory Exemptions for Certain Commission Actions 20.142
    • C. CEQA Compliance by Commission 20.143
    • D. Special Hearing Requirements 20.144
    • E. Commission's CEQA Guidelines 20.145
  • XV. CEQA REQUIREMENTS FOR OTHER CATEGORIES OF PROJECTS
    • A. Loan and Grant Applications 20.146
    • B. Military Base Reuse Plans 20.147
    • C. Jail and Prison Projects 20.148
    • D. Projects in Depressed Urban Areas 20.149
    • E. Projects in State Parks 20.150
    • F. Projects Located Outside California 20.151
    • G. Aquaculture Projects 20.152
    • H. Other CEQA Provisions for Particular Projects 20.153
  • XVI. FEDERAL PREEMPTION OF CEQA 20.154

21

Certified Regulatory Programs

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 21.1
  • II. LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
    • A. Nature of Exemption 21.2
    • B. Implied Exemptions Are Precluded 21.3
    • C. Certification Criteria 21.4
    • D. Procedures for Certification and Decertification 21.5
      • 1. Notice Requirements 21.6
      • 2. Hearing and Comment Procedures 21.7
      • 3. Natural Resources Agency's Determination 21.8
    • E. Effect of Certification 21.9
  • III. LIST OF CERTIFIED PROGRAMS 21.10
  • IV. SCOPE OF CERTIFIED REGULATORY PROGRAM EXEMPTION
    • A. Exemption From CEQA Documentation Requirements 21.11
    • B. Documentation in Lieu of EIRs 21.12
      • 1. Content Requirements 21.13
      • 2. Requirements for Impact Analysis 21.14
      • 3. Requirement to Describe Alternatives and Mitigation Measures 21.15
      • 4. Applicant's Duty to Submit Data 21.16
      • 5. Evidentiary Basis for Conclusions 21.17
      • 6. Review and Comment Requirements 21.18
      • 7. Notice of Decision 21.19
    • C. Documentation in Lieu of Negative Declarations
      • 1. Content Requirements 21.20
      • 2. Reliance on Mitigation Measures 21.21
    • D. Exemptions From a Certified Regulatory Program 21.22
    • E. Use of Environmental Document by Responsible Agency 21.23
  • V. JUDICIAL REVIEW
    • A. Certification and Decertification Decisions 21.24
    • B. Adequacy of Environmental Documents 21.25

22

Joint Federal-State Environmental Documents

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 22.1
  • II. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEPA AND CEQA
    • A. Historical Development and Key Characteristics of NEPA 22.2
    • B. Table: Comparison of NEPA and CEQA 22.3
    • C. Courts' Reliance on NEPA Cases in Construing CEQA 22.4
    • D. Procedural or Substantive Statutes? 22.5
  • III. COORDINATION OF REVIEW UNDER CEQA AND NEPA
    • A. Methods for Avoiding Duplication 22.6
    • B. Preparation of Environmental Documents
      • 1. Document Must Fulfill Requirements of Both NEPA and CEQA 22.7
      • 2. Using NEPA Document as a Later CEQA Document 22.8
      • 3. Preparation of Joint EIR/EIS 22.9
      • 4. Preparation of Joint Negative Declaration/FONSI 22.10
      • 5. Using CEQA Document as a Later NEPA Document 22.11
    • C. CEQA Time Limits May Be Waived 22.12
  • IV. DETERMINING WHETHER PROJECT IS SUBJECT TO NEPA
    • A. Role of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 22.13
      • 1. Rating of Project's Impacts 22.14
      • 2. Rating of EIS Analysis 22.15
    • B. Federal Lead Agency Concept 22.16
    • C. Project Must Be a Major Federal Action 22.17
    • D. Project Must Not Be Exempt From NEPA Coverage
      • 1. Categorical Exclusions 22.18
      • 2. Statutory Exemptions 22.19
      • 3. Functional Exemptions 22.20
    • E. Project Must Have Significant Environmental Effect 22.21
  • V. APPLICATION OF NEPA TO CALIFORNIA PROJECTS
    • A. Level of Federal Involvement Required to Trigger NEPA 22.22
    • B. Application to Projects Requiring Army Corps of Engineers Wetlands Permits
      • 1. Requirements for Wetlands Permits 22.23
      • 2. EIS Requirements for Individual Permits 22.24
      • 3. Application of NEPA to Nationwide Permits 22.25

23

CEQA Litigation

  • I. HIGHLIGHTS 23.1
  • II. TYPES OF JUDICIAL CHALLENGES TO CEQA DECISIONS 23.2
  • III. PARTIES
    • A. Petitioner
      • 1. Basis for Standing Requirements 23.3
      • 2. Individual Standing
        • a. Beneficial Interest Standing
          • (1) Beneficial Interest Defined 23.4
          • (2) Application of Test in CEQA Cases 23.5
        • b. Public Interest Standing
          • (1) Enforcement of Public Duty 23.6
          • (2) Application of Test in CEQA Cases 23.7
        • c. Taxpayer Standing
          • (1) Taxpayer Standing Defined 23.8
          • (2) Application of Test in CEQA Cases 23.9
        • d. Standing When Petitioner Lacks Environmental Interest 23.10
      • 3. Standing of Associations 23.11
      • 4. Standing of Public Agencies and Officials 23.12
      • 5. Procedural Requirements Concerning Standing
        • a. Pleading Requirements 23.13
        • b. Proof at Trial 23.14
    • B. Respondent 23.15
    • C. Real Party in Interest 23.16
  • IV. TIME PERIOD FOR FILING CEQA ACTION 23.17
    • A. Checklists of Limitations Periods for Filing Action Challenging Agency's CEQA Decision
      • 1. Checklist: Limitations Periods Listed by Type of CEQA Decision 23.18
      • 2. Checklist: Limitations Periods Listed by Time Periods 23.19
    • B. Limitations Period Following Notice of Determination or Exemption 23.20
      • 1. Limitations Period Triggered by Filing and Posting Notice 23.21
      • 2. Shorter Limitations Periods Do Not Apply if Notice Is Defective 23.22
      • 3. Effect of Actual Notice 23.23
    • C. Limitations Periods When Notice of Determination or Exemption Has Not Been Filed
      • 1. Applicability of 180-Day Limitations Period 23.24
      • 2. Events Triggering 180-Day Limitations Period 23.25
    • D. Multiple Project Approvals
      • 1. Subsequent Action by Lead Agency 23.26
      • 2. Subsequent Action by Responsible Agency 23.27
    • E. Tolling Statute of Limitations 23.28
    • F. Relationship to Other Statutes of Limitations 23.29
    • G. Effect of Failure to Challenge Agency Decision Within Limitations Period
      • 1. Lead Agency Decisions 23.30
      • 2. Responsible Agency Decisions 23.31
  • V. STANDARD OF REVIEW
    • A. Governing Statutes 23.32
    • B. Statutory Standard of Review 23.33
      • 1. Substantial Evidence Test 23.34
      • 2. Failure to Proceed in Manner Required by Law 23.35
      • 3. Prejudicial Error
        • a. Discretion to Find Error Nonprejudicial Under Pub Res C §21005 23.36
        • b. Case Law on Prejudicial Error 23.37
      • 4. Independent Judgment Test Not Applicable 23.38
  • VI. FORM OF PROCEEDING
    • A. Governing Statutes 23.39
    • B. Distinction Between Review Under Pub Res C §21168 and Under Pub Res C §21168.5 23.40
    • C. Is Review Governed by Pub Res C §21168 or §21168.5? 23.41
      • 1. Adjudicative Approvals 23.42
      • 2. Administrative Approvals 23.43
      • 3. Quasi-Legislative Approvals 23.44
    • D. Declaratory Relief 23.45
    • E. Proceedings to Enforce Procedural Requirements 23.46
    • F. Venue Issues in CEQA Cases 23.47
  • VII. SCOPE OF REVIEW
    • A. Admissibility of Extrarecord Evidence 23.48
      • 1. In Administrative Mandamus Proceedings 23.49
      • 2. In Ordinary Mandamus Proceedings to Review a Quasi-Legislative Decision 23.50
        • a. To Determine Whether Decision Is Supported by Substantial Evidence 23.51
        • b. To Determine Whether Agency Proceeded in Manner Required by Law 23.52
        • c. For Other Purposes 23.53
      • 3. In Ordinary Mandamus Proceedings to Review an Administrative Decision 23.54
        • a. Rule in Non-CEQA Cases 23.55
        • b. Rule in CEQA Cases 23.56
      • 4. Exceptions to Rule Against Admission of Additional Evidence
        • a. Excluded or Unavailable Evidence 23.57
        • b. Other Evidence 23.58
    • B. Joinder of Causes of Action
      • 1. When Only CEQA Decision Is Challenged 23.59
      • 2. When Independent Grounds for Relief Are Alleged 23.60
  • VIII. PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS 23.61
    • A. Checklist: Procedural Steps in CEQA Litigation 23.62
    • B. Procedural Steps in CEQA Litigation
      • 1. Notice of Proceeding 23.63
      • 2. Checklist: Allegations in Petition for Writ of Mandate 23.64
      • 3. Service Requirements
        • a. Service on Respondent 23.65
        • b. Service on Real Party in Interest 23.66
        • c. Service on Attorney General 23.67
        • d. Notification of Responsible and Trustee Agencies 23.68
      • 4. Preparation of Record
        • a. Request for Preparation of Record 23.69
        • b. Time for Preparation of Record 23.70
        • c. Preparation of Record by Petitioner 23.71
        • d. Payment of Cost of Preparation 23.72
        • e. Optional Process for Preparation of Record Concurrently with CEQA Process 23.72A
        • f. Contents of Record 23.73
        • g. Lodging or Filing Record With Court 23.74
        • h. Effect of Failure to Submit Record 23.75
      • 5. Time to Respond to Petition 23.76
      • 6. Mandatory Settlement Meeting 23.77
        • a. Notice Procedure 23.78
        • b. Settlement Meeting 23.79
        • c. Sanctions for Noncompliance 23.80
      • 7. Statement of Issues 23.81
      • 8. Setting the Hearing and Briefing Schedule on the Petition
        • a. Time to Request Hearing 23.82
        • b. Procedure for Setting Hearing and Briefing Schedule 23.83
  • IX. RELIEF PENDING DECISION ON MERITS
    • A. Effect of Pending Litigation
      • 1. Effect on Lead Agency and Project Applicant 23.84
      • 2. Effect on Responsible Agencies 23.85
    • B. Preliminary Relief 23.86
      • 1. Stay Orders
        • a. In Administrative Mandamus Actions 23.87
        • b. In Traditional Mandamus Actions 23.88
      • 2. Injunctive Relief 23.89
        • a. Legal Basis 23.90
        • b. Procedure 23.91
        • c. Test for Preliminary Injunctive Relief 23.92
        • d. Undertaking Requirement 23.93
          • (1) Requirement for Approved Construction Projects 23.94
          • (2) Requirement for Certain Housing Projects 23.95
    • C. Interlocutory Remand 23.96
  • X. DEFENSES
    • A. Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies 23.97
      • 1. Grounds for Claiming Noncompliance With CEQA 23.98
      • 2. Objection to Project Approval
        • a. Who Must Object? 23.99
        • b. Exception for Organizations 23.100
      • 3. When Issues Must Be Raised 23.101
      • 4. Pursuit of Administrative Remedies
        • a. Presentation to Decision-Making Body 23.102
        • b. Administrative Appeals 23.103
        • c. Rehearing and Reconsideration 23.104
      • 5. Exceptions to Exhaustion Doctrine
        • a. No Opportunity to Raise Objections 23.105
        • b. Required Notice Not Provided 23.106
        • c. Misleading Notice 23.107
        • d. Public Rights Exception 23.108
        • e. Futility 23.109
    • B. Ripeness 23.110
    • C. Finality of Administrative Decision 23.111
    • D. Laches 23.112
    • E. Mootness
      • 1. General Rules 23.113
      • 2. Special Rules Relating to Appeals 23.114
  • XI. SETTLEMENT 23.115
  • XII. TRIAL COURT DECISION AND SCOPE OF RELIEF
    • A. Statement of Decision 23.116
    • B. Judgment 23.117
      • 1. Judgment for Petitioner 23.118
      • 2. Judgment for Respondent 23.119
    • C. Peremptory Writ of Mandate 23.120
      • 1. Return to Peremptory Writ 23.121
      • 2. Service of Peremptory Writ 23.122
    • D. Contents of Peremptory Writ 23.123
      • 1. Mandatory and Prohibitory Relief 23.124
      • 2. Corrective Action 23.125
    • E. Procedures for Compliance With Peremptory Writ 23.125A
  • XIII. ATTORNEY FEES AND COSTS
    • A. Fees Under Private Attorney General Statute (CCP §1021.5) 23.126
      • 1. Conditions to Fee Award Under CCP §1021.5
        • a. Enforcement of Important Right Affecting Public Interest 23.127
        • b. Significant Public Benefit 23.128
        • c. Necessity and Financial Burden of Private Enforcement 23.129
      • 2. Other Factors Affecting Fee Award Under CCP §1021.5
        • a. Procedural Requirements 23.130
        • b. Degree of Success on the Merits 23.131
        • c. Voluntary Compliance or Settlement Not a Bar to Award 23.132
        • d. Parties Subject to Statute
          • (1) Public Entities 23.133
          • (2) Real Party in Interest 23.134
          • (3) Prevailing Respondent 23.135
      • 3. Appellate Review of Fee Awards 23.136
    • B. Substantial Benefit Doctrine 23.137
    • C. Arbitrary Conduct by Public Agency (Govt C §800) 23.138
    • D. Bad Faith 23.139
    • E. Costs 23.139A
  • XIV. APPEALS 23.140
    • A. Appealable Orders 23.141
    • B. Preparation of Record 23.142
    • C. Briefing and Hearing Schedule 23.143
    • D. Scope of Review and Relief on Appeal 23.144
    • E. Appellate Review by Mandamus 23.145
  • XV. SPECIAL SITUATIONS IN CEQA LITIGATION
    • A. Asserting CEQA Claims in Validating Actions 23.146
      • 1. When Validating Action Procedures Are Required 23.147
      • 2. Procedures for Validating Actions 23.148
      • 3. Statute of Limitations for Validating Actions 23.149
      • 4. Application to Redevelopment Agency and Successor Agency Actions 23.150
      • 5. Application to LAFCO Actions 23.151
    • B. CEQA Claim as Defense to Condemnation Action 23.152
    • C. Public Utilities and Energy Commission Decisions 23.153
    • D. Judicial Review for Environmental Leadership Development Projects 23.153A
    • E. Litigation Against Parties Participating in CEQA Process 23.154
      • 1. Claims Based on Misuse of Legal Process 23.155
      • 2. Defamation Actions 23.156
      • 3. Damages Claims 23.157
      • 4. Challenges to Tax-Exempt Status 23.158
      • 5. Restrictions on SLAPP Suits 23.159
  • XVI. FORMS
    • A. Form: Notice of Intent to File CEQA Petition 23.160
    • B. Form: Petition for Writ of Mandate (Challenge to Adequacy of EIR and Findings) 23.161
    • C. Form: Notice to Attorney General 23.162
    • D. Form: Request for Preparation of Record of Proceedings 23.163
    • E. Form: Order Directing Issuance of Alternative Writ of Mandate 23.164
    • F. Form: Alternative Writ of Mandate 23.165
    • G. Form: Order to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order 23.166
    • H. Form: Case Management Stipulation and Order 23.167
    • I. Form: Stipulation and Order Regarding Statement of Issues and Briefing and Hearing Schedule 23.168
    • J. Form: Notice of Settlement Meeting 23.169
    • K. Form: Statement of Issues to Be Raised in Briefs or at Hearing 23.170
    • L. Form: Notice of Motion and Motion for Peremptory Writ of Mandate 23.171
    • M. Form: Order Granting Petition for Writ of Mandate 23.172
    • N. Form: Judgment Granting Peremptory Writ of Mandate 23.173
    • O. Form: Peremptory Writ of Mandate 23.174

Selected Developments

March 2017 Update

For discussion of 2016 legislation affecting CEQA practice, see §1.26E.

2016 legislation

In 2016, the legislature enacted several minor CEQA bills, as well as more substantive legislation relating to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water supply assessments (see §1.26E). The bills are summarized below:

  • Senate Bill 734 (Stats 2016, ch 210) extends the provisions of AB 900 (Stats 2011, ch 354) governing expedited review of environmental leadership projects. Pub Res C §21181.

  • Senate Bill 1008 (Stats 2016, ch 588) extends the sunset date of the exemption for the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) to January 1, 2020. Pub Res C §21080.25(h).

  • Senate Bill 836 (Stats 2016, ch 31) is an omnibus budget bill that includes new provisions to expedite any lawsuits challenging construction of the Capitol Building annex. Pub Res C §§21189.50–21189.57.

  • Senate Bill 122 (Stats 2016, ch 476) adds provisions allowing a project applicant and lead agency to agree to expedited preparation of the administrative record for a project. Pub Res C §21167.6.2.

  • Senate Bill 32 (Stats 2016, ch 249) directs that GHG emissions be reduced to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Health & S C §38566.

  • Assembly Bill 197 (Stats 2016, ch 250) creates the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies (see Govt C §9147.10) and enacts various new provisions regarding GHG emissions regulation (Health & S C §§38506, 38531, 38562.5, 38562.7).

  • Senate Bill 1262 (Stats 2016, ch 594) adds groundwater issues into water supply assessments. Wat C §10910; Govt C §66473.7.

Late 2015 through late 2016 cases

Joshua Tree Downtown Bus. Alliance v County of San Bernardino (2016) 1 CA5th 677. This case had several noteworthy holdings: (1) Gaps in an initial study's explanation can be filled in by referring to evidence in the record; (2) an attorney who was also a business owner was not qualified to opine on whether the project would have an adverse economic impact causing urban decay; (3) there is no requirement that a negative declaration discuss the ways in which a project might be inconsistent with applicable local or regional land use plans, and an inconsistency with such a plan is not necessarily an environmental impact. See §§1.3, 6.18, 6.20, 6.36, 6.42, 6.52, 6.56, 6.76, 6.80, 12.28, 12.34, 13.15, 13.64.

Preserve Poway v City of Poway (2016) 245 CA4th 560. The court rejected a challenge to a negative declaration founded on an allegation that activities at a nearby horse boarding facility would adversely affect project residents; social and psychological effects of a project's change to the community's character are not environmental impacts subject to CEQA. See §§1.15, 1.23, 4.22, 6.35–6.36, 6.52, 6.80, 13.23, 22.4, 23.144.

California Bldg. Indus. Ass'n v Bay Area Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. (2016) 2 CA5th 1067. On remand from the supreme court, the court of appeal ruled that the significance thresholds in the Bay Area Air Quality Management District's CEQA guidelines are invalid to the extent that they indicate that lead agencies should ordinarily apply the District's receptor thresholds to evaluate the effects of existing air pollution on a proposed project's occupants or users. The District's receptor thresholds may, however, appropriately be used to assess the impacts on project occupants or users to the extent those impacts will result from changes the project will make to the environment. Note: This case has been remanded to the trial court for further action. See §§1.23, 13.5, 13.14, 13.60, 20.81A, 20.120, 23.35.

Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v San Mateo County Community College Dist. (2016) 1 C5th 937. The substantial evidence standard applies to review of an agency determination whether a follow-up action is a new project or a modification of a previously approved project. See §§1.23, 1.27, 1.30, 19.2, 19.13, 19.33–19.34, 19.37, 19.43, 19.54–19.55, 22.4.

Center for Biological Diversity v County of San Bernardino (2016) 247 CA4th 326. In a public/private partnership for a water pumping and conveyance project whereby a landowner would transfer water to several water districts, the water district as a partner in the public/private partnership was an appropriate lead agency because it would be carrying out the project, one of the principal criteria set forth in Guideline 15051. See §§3.4, 12.9–12.11, 12.13.

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v City of San Diego (review granted Jan. 11, 2017, S238563; superseded opinion at 4 CA5th 103). The city's adoption of a zoning ordinance regulating the establishment and location of medical marijuana consumer cooperatives was not a "project" subject to CEQA because the evidence was insufficient to show that indirect environmental impacts were reasonably foreseeable. See §§4.5, 4.17, 4.20, 4.22, 4.31.

Delaware Tetra Technols., Inc. v County of San Bernardino (2016) 247 CA4th 352. An agency's approval of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) calling for development of a groundwater management, monitoring, and mitigation plan simultaneously with preparation of the EIR was not a "project" under CEQA because the MOU preserved full agency discretion to respond to the EIR's findings. See §4.15.

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v City of Upland (2016) 245 CA4th 1265. The city's adoption of an ordinance prohibiting mobile marijuana dispensaries was not a "project" for CEQA purposes because the ordinance restated restrictions that were already in effect and because the arguments of potential impact were based on layers of speculation and assumptions. See §§4.20, 4.22, 4.31, 6.30.

Walters v City of Redondo Beach (2016) 1 CA5th 809. The categorical exemption for construction of small structures under 14 Cal Code Regs §15303 applied to a car wash and attached coffee shop on the basis that the use was similar to the examples of commercial uses set forth in the exemption; the specified examples are not exclusive. See §§5.69, 5.72, 5.75, 5.80, 5.126, 13.66D.

North Coast Rivers Alliance v Kawamura (2015) 243 CA4th 647. A program EIR may not be used to support approval of a multiphase project if the program EIR does not cover all phases of the project. This case also stands for the general rules that the level of specificity required for an EIR depends on the nature of the project, and that an EIR's analysis need not be perfect. See §§10.13, 10.15–10.16, 11.30, 11.39, 12.13, 13.26, 15.8, 15.12, 17.11, 23.26–23.37, 23.125.

Bay Area Citizens v Association of Bay Area Gov'ts (2016) 248 CA4th 966. The EIR on a regional plan for reducing GHG emissions did not have to include an alternative proposed by the petitioners, because that alternative was inconsistent with the basic purposes of the plan. Infeasible alternatives also need not be considered. See §§11.36, 15.8–15.9, 15.9B, 15.11, 15.17, 15.20, 15.22, 15.41, 16.11, 20.81, 20.88A.

Crenshaw Subway Coalition v Los Angeles County Metro. Transp. Auth. (CD Cal, Sept. 23, 2015, No. CV 11-9603 FMO (JCx)) 2015 US Dist Lexis 143642, 2015 WL 6150847. Environmental impact reports are required only to discuss "any inconsistencies" with plans; 14 Cal Code Regs §15125(d) does not require an EIR to explain why the project is consistent with applicable plans or to provide support for a conclusion that there are no plan inconsistencies. See §§12.28, 13.66E, 15.9A, 15.12, 15.17, 17.25, 22.9, 22.16, 22.22.

Naraghi Lakes Neighborhood Preservation Ass'n v City of Modesto (2016) 1 CA5th 9. Agencies have particularly broad discretion in determining a project's consistency with general plan goals and policies. See §12.33.

Spring Valley Lake Ass'n v City of Victorville (2016) 248 CA4th 91. Overall consistency with general plan policies is not sufficient to excuse a project's inconsistency with plan standards that are specific, mandatory, and fundamental. See §§12.33–12.34, 13.26, 13.59, 13.66, 16.15A, 16.15C–16.15D, 20.81D, 20.86.

Ukiah Citizens for Safety First v City of Ukiah (2016) 248 CA4th 256. An EIR should not rely solely on compliance with Title 24 standards to mitigate operational and construction energy impacts and should not assume that mitigation for GHG emissions will serve as a substitute for an analysis of energy use impacts. See §§13.59, 16.15E, 17.7, 23.49.

Friends of the Willow Glen Trestle v City of San Jose (2016) 2 CA5th 457. An agency's discretionary determination that a structure or object is or is not a historical resource need only be supported by substantial evidence. See §§20.94, 20.96–20.97, 23.114.

Communities for a Better Env't v Bay Area Air Quality Mgmt. Dist. (2016) 1 CA5th 715. Failure to discover a CEQA claim does not extend the statutory limitations period. See §§23.22, 23.25.

Citizens for Ceres v City of Ceres (2016) 3 CA5th 237. When the agency prepares the record and the real party in interest reimburses the agency for that record preparation cost, the real party may recover that reimbursed record cost from the petitioner as an allowable cost. See §23.72.

A new section has been added to chapter 23 (§23.72A) on the new optional process for expediting the preparation of the administrative record, authorized by Pub Res C §21167.6.2 (added by SB 122 (Stats 2016, ch 476), effective Jan. 1, 2017).

Center for Biological Diversity v Department of Fish & Wildlife (2016) 1 CA5th 452. Under Pub Res C §21168.9, a court of appeal may give instructions on the scope and contents of a writ of mandate the trial court should issue when the case is remitted to it, but the statute does not give a court of appeal authority to itself issue a writ of mandate directly. See §23.144.

City of Montebello v Vasquez (2016) 1 C5th 409. Votes by public officials, and statements made in the course of their deliberations at the meeting where the votes were taken, qualify as protected speech under CCP §425.16 (the anti-SLAPP statute). See §23.159.

About the Authors

STEPHEN L. KOSTKA was a partner with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP, in San Francisco when he co-authored the first and second editions of this book. He is currently of counsel with the law firm of Perkins Coie, LLP, in San Francisco, in the firm's Environment, Energy & Resources practice group. Mr. Kostka specializes in land use and environmental litigation and counseling, representing public agencies and private developers. He regularly teaches courses in CEQA compliance and CEQA litigation for professional, public agency, and industry groups. Mr. Kostka has served for a number of years as a legal advisor to the Governor's Office of Planning and Research on revisions to the CEQA Guidelines. Mr. Kostka received his B.A. degree in 1970 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his J.D. degree in 1973 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

MICHAEL H. ZISCHKE is a partner with the law firm of Cox, Castle & Nicholson LLP, in San Francisco, where he is co-chair of the Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Team. Before joining Cox, Castle & Nicholson, Mr. Zischke co-chaired the land use and environmental law practice group at Morrison & Foerster, LLP, and previously chaired the CEQA and land use group at Landels, Ripley & Diamond. Mr. Zischke specializes in CEQA and land use litigation and compliance, representing businesses and public agencies. He regularly teaches CEQA and land use courses for various law schools and professional and industry groups. He has actively participated in task forces on CEQA legislation and revisions of the CEQA Guidelines. Mr. Zischke received his B.A. degree in 1977 from Dartmouth College and his J.D. degree in 1982 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

About the 2017 Update Authors

STEPHEN L. KOSTKA. See biography in the About the Authors section. Mr. Kostka gratefully acknowledges the following Perkins Coie partners who offered suggestions for the 2017 update: Barbara J. Schussman, Julie Jones, Geoffrey L. Robinson, and Marc R. Bruner. Mr. Kostka also thanks Whitman F. Manley (Remy Moose Manley, LLP), Jack W. Golden (Office of the County Counsel, Orange County), Christian L. Marsh (Downey Brand LLP), and Paul B. Campos (Building Industry Association of the Bay Area) for their input.

MICHAEL H. ZISCHKE. See biography in the About the Authors section. Mr. Zischke gratefully acknowledges the following attorneys who offered comments and suggestions for the 2017 update: Andrew B. Sabey and Linda C. Klein (Cox, Castle& Nicholson LLP), Amanda J. Monchamp (Holland & Knight LLP), Leslie R. Perry (Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz, LLP), Christian L. Marsh (Downey Brand LLP), and Christopher Calfee (Governor's Office of Planning and Research). Mr. Zischke also thanks his assistant, Rosa Keel, and the Cox, Castle & Nicholson librarian, Janet Kasabian, for their help.

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