Specific, detailed responsibilities of OPR are highlighted below.

State Planning Agency

OPR is designated in statute as the state comprehensive planning agency. Accordingly, it is responsible for the following programs and activities:

  • Formulate long-range goals and policies for land use, population growth and distribution, urban expansion, land development, resource preservation, and other factors affecting statewide development patterns.
  • Assist in the preparation of functional plans by state agencies and departments which relate to protection and enhancement of the state's environment.
  • Ensure that all state policies and programs conform to the state's adopted land use planning goals and programs.
  • Create regional planning districts.
  • Establish a Planning Advisory and Assistance Council.
  • Prepare the state's Environmental Goals and Policy Report (EGPR) every four years.
  • Develop and adopt guidelines for the preparation of city and county general plans.
  • Provide general planning assistance to local governments.
  • Serve as the state's "single point of contact" for evaluation of federal funding proposals.

CEQA Coordination

OPR is responsible for carrying out various state level environmental review activities pursuant to CEQA, including:

  • Prepare state CEQA Guidelines (part of the California Code of Regulations) for implementation of CEQA. The guidelines are adopted by the Secretary for Natural Resources following public hearings.
  • Operate the State Clearinghouse which coordinates state level review of environmental documents prepared pursuant to CEQA.
  • Post various environmental notices filed with OPR pursuant to CEQA.
  • Assist in identification of state responsible and trustee agencies for development projects.
  • Provide education and training to public agencies on implementation of CEQA.
  • Maintain a database of environmental documents to streamline the preparation of environmental documents.
  • Resolve lead agency disputes.
  • Assist lead agencies in determining which other agencies may have CEQA responsibilities.
  • Maintain CEQA notices in a manner that is accessible to the public on an Internet web site.