Flashcards in C2A-KS09 Deck (36):
What role does the
Commenting Agency play
during CEQA review?
The Commenting Agency is a public agency with
"jurisdiction by law" over a particular natural
resource, but is neither a Lead Agency or a
Responsible Agency (i.e., the Air Quality
Management District is the sole local agency in the
district with the responsibility for comprehensive
air pollution control, and therefore reviews and
comments on the air quality analysis in
environmental documents submitted to AQMD).
What does CEQA stand for?
What is the mission and
purpose of CEQA?
CEQA stands for California Environmental Quality
Mission: require state & local agencies to identify significant environmental impacts of their actions and avoid or mitigate
those impacts, if feasible. Purpose: inform governmental decision makers & the public of any potential significant effects of proposed activities on the environment and to provide opportunities to review and comment on draft documents.
Is CEQA an agency? Are plans
submitted for review to
CEQA is NOT an agency, it is an Act (California
Environmental Quality Act). Plans are NOT
submitted to CEQA for review.
Who is the lead agency and what are they responsible for?
The Lead Agency is typically the local planning
department, but could also be a State agency,
depending on the project.
The Lead Agency has primary responsibility to
complete the environmental review process
required by CEQA. They are responsible for
coordinating with the project applicant, the
public, and other agencies during the review
the people of the State of California.
What is a trustee agency?
A Trustee Agency is a state agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for
A "trustee agency" is a public agency having jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project which are held in trust for the people of the State of California. Trustee agencies include:
The California Department of Fish and Game with regard to the fish and wildlife of the state, to designated rare or endangered native plants, and to game refuges, ecological reserves, and other areas administered by the department.
The State Lands Commission with regard to state-owned "sovereign" lands, such as the beds of navigable waters and state school lands.
The State Department of Parks and Recreation with regard to units of the State Park System.
The University of California with regard to sites within the Natural Land and Water Reserves System.
Who is the Responsible
Agency and what role do they
play in the CEQA review
The Responsible Agency is the public agency or
agencies with discretionary approval authority
over a portion of a CEQA project and interfaces
directly with the Lead Agency (for example, the
Air Quality Management District can be a
Responsible Agency and consult with the Lead
California Environmental Quality Act
..14 California Code of Regulations, Section 15000.
During the CEQA review process, the Public Review Period occurs after the following;
-Lead Agency files Notice of Completion and gives public notice of availability of draft EIR
-Lead Agency gives public notice of availability of Negative Declaration
— a public agency with "jurisdiction by law" over a particular natural resource, but is neither a lead agency or a responsible agency. For example, the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is the sole and exclusive local agency in the district (area served in Southern California) with the responsibility for comprehensive air pollution control, and therefore reviews and comments on the air quality analysis in environmental documents submitted to the AQMD.
In the first step of the CEQA review process, the Public Agency determines if the activity is a "project"
If it is a "project", the Public Agency determines if the project is exempt from compliance with CEQA. If exempt, what are the two types of exemptions?
1. Statutory Exemption — projects which the California Legislature has decided are not subject to CEQA procedures and policies.
2. Categorical Exemption - projects which the Secretary of the Resources Agency has determined do not usually have a significant effect on the environment.
Note: You don't need to know specifically what a Statutory
Exemption or Categorical Exemption is. It is highly likely
that CEQA will apply to the Project Scenario.
Notice of Exemption
— if the project is determined to be exempt, a Notice of
Exemption may be filed State Agency files the form at the Office of Planning and Research.
-Local Agency files the form at the County Clerk of each county in which the project will be located.
— is a preliminary analysis prepared by the Lead Agency to determine whether an EIR or a Negative Declaration must be prepared or to identify the significant environmental effects to be analyzed in an EIR
True or False
Lead Agency doesn't determine when more than one public agency should be involved and doesn't perform the Initial Study to identify environmental impacts and whether impacts are significant.
Lead Agencv (determined when more than one public agency involved) performs the
Initial Study to identify environmental impacts and whether impacts are significant.
Based upon its findings from the initial study, the Lead Agency prepares one of the following environmental
1. Negative Declaration — no significant impacts found upon the environment in respect to the project, the project may proceed as designed
2. Mitigated Negative Declaration — significant impacts found upon the environment in respect to the project, but the project can be revised/redesigned to avoid or mitigate
significant impacts, and can move forward
3. Environmental Impact Report (EIR) — project has been found to have significant environmental impacts. Project may be slowed or halted until an EIR can be prepared, reviewed, and approved
Know these three decisions that the Lead Agency will issue
What is an Environmental Impact Report?
It is a detailed report written by the Lead Agency describing and analyzing the significant environmental effects of a proposed project, identifying alternatives and discussing ways to reduce or avoid the possible environmental damage. An EIR is prepared when the Lead Agency finds substantial evidence that the project may have a significant effect on the environment.
After a determination by the Lead Agency to prepare an Environmental Impact Report, what document will be prepared next
Notice of Preparation will be prepared;
Notice of Preparation (NOP) - a brief notice sent by the lead agency to notify the responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and involved federal agencies that the lead
agency plans to prepare an EIR for the project. The purpose of the notice is to solicit guidance from those agencies as to the scope and content of the environmental information to be included in the EIR.
Once the draft EIR is prepared and available for review, the Lead Agency files a...
... Notice of Completion;
Notice of Completion (NOC) - is a brief notice released by the lead agency as soon as it has completed a draft CEQA document for public review and comment.
For projects in which an EIR is required, when does the Public Review Period occur?
-For projects in which an EIR is required, the Public Review Period occurs after the Lead Agency files Notice of Completion and gives public notice of availability of draft EIR for review
-The period for public and agency review is 30 days minimum and 60 days maximum to review a draft EIR.
-When a draft EIR is sent to the State Clearinghouse, the review period shall not be less than 45 days.
the Draft EIR
Lead Agency gives public notice of availability of Negative Declaration
For projects in which an EIR is not required, when does the Public Review Period occur?
-For projects in which an EIR is not required, the Public Review Period occurs after the Lead Agency gives public notice of availability of Negative Declaration
-The period for public and agency review must be at least 20 days to review a Negative Declaration.
When the Negative Declaration is sent to the State Clearinghouse, the review
period shall be 30 days.
-Coordinates the state-level review of environmental documents that are prepared pursuant to the CEQA.
- It is a division of the Governor's Office of
Planning and Research.
Once a decision has been reached on the project (either approval of the final EIR or approval of the Negative Declaration by the Lead Agency), a Notice of Determination will be filed. This notice is called a...
Notice of Determination (NOD) — a brief notice filed by a public agency after it approves or determines to carry out a project subject to the requirements of CEQA
State Agency files NOD at ...
...the Office of Planning and Research.
Local Agency files the NOD at ...
...the County Clerk of each county in which the project will be located.
Some impacts a project can have on the environment include:
-Storm water runoff
-Pollution from equipment
-Damage to wildlife & plants
-Increase in traffic
-Noise — street, traffic, transportation, use
-Modification to wetlands
-Alterations of stream beds
-Excessive or uncontrolled site lighting
I have used to following sources to compile the information in this section:
-South Coast Air Quality Management District's (AQMD) website
-Office of Planning and Research
-CEQA Technical Advice Series — Great Resource!
What is CEQA and what isn't it?
It's a process, not a permit. It discloses shit
-it doesn't prescribe development standards
-it doesn't prescribe acceptable levels of risk
-it doesn't specific regulations that projects have to follow
-it doesn't establish study methods
Difference between Program EIR and Project EIR
1) Program EIR
-typically applied to larger project that requires phasing
-less detailed mitigation measures for subsequent passes
-revision could be made as project moves forward into subsequent phases
2) Project EIR
-typically applied to smaller projects
-detailed mitigation measures
When is a subsequent EIR required?
If one of the following occurs:
1) substantial changes in the project would result in new or worsened significant environmental changes
2) substantial changes in circumstances would result in new worsened significant impacts
3) new information of substantial importance shows:
-the project will have a new or worsened significant effects
-mitigation measures or alternatives previously infeasible are now feasible but project proponent declines to adopt them
True or False
In order to mitigate some of the impacts of a proposed project, the EIR suggested 3 alternatives to be chosen. The owner is not required to follow any of the suggested alternatives, and has the option to come up with another one.
Owner must choose on the alternative to move forward with the project.
What are the 3 requirements for an alternative that could be shown on an EIR
-it has to meet project objectives
-it has to lessen environmental impacts
-it has to be feasible
Typical summary of a an EIR
1) Table of contents
2) executive summary
3) impact chapters
-environmental setting, impact analysis, mitigation measures
4) project alternatives
5) cumulative and growth inducing impacts
6) lists of preparers and references
7) technical appendices
Ministerial projects (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15369) are
governmental decisions involving little or no personal judgment as to the wisdom or manner of carrying out the action. A ministerial decision is based upon fixed standards or objective measurements only. Ministerial Department activities include issuance of fishing and hunting licenses, stamps, and tags. Other projects may be determined to be ministerial; this determination shall be made by the Department on a case-by-case basis, considering the laws relevant to the project. As in planning and feasibility studies, the Department does not prepare CEQA documentation for ministerial projects.
After deciding to carry out or approve a project, the Department files a Notice of Determination with SCH. The filing of the Notice of Determination with SCH starts a 30-day statute of limitations on ...
...court challenges to approval under CEQA (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15075). At the time of filing, the lead unit must have a copy of the Notice of Determination, the proposed Negative Declaration, and all comments with the Department's responses, on file and available to the public.
How does Lead agency compare to a Responsible Agency?
A "Responsible Agency" is any public agency, other than the lead agency, which has the responsibility for approving the project where more than one public agency is involved.
When more than one public agency is involved, a "Lead Agency" is the public agency that has the primary responsibility for approving a project that may have a significant impact upon the environment.
What if the public agencies can't agree on which one should be Lead Agency?
If there is a dispute over which of several agencies should be the Lead Agency for a project, the disputing agencies should consult with each other in an effort to resolve the dispute prior to submitting it to OPR. If an agreement cannot be reached, any public agency, or the applicant if a private project is involved, may submit the dispute to OPR for resolution. (Guidelines §15053)