By Function

The following list provides an overview of OPR’s diverse portfolio.

  • Formulation of long-range land use goals and policies
  • Management of state planning grants, and encouragement of local and regional planning
  • Creation and adoption of General Plan Guidelines
  • Drafting of CEQA Guidelines (for adoption by the Secretary of Natural Resources)
  • Operation of the State Clearinghouse for distribution and review of CEQA documents
  • Coordination of research on growth and development
  • Operation of the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program
  • Creation of a State Environmental Goals and Policy Report, every four years
  • Coordination of environmental justice activities
  • Support innovative programs in higher education to close equity and achievement gaps in STEM and other disciplines and support learning environments of the future
  • Support innovation and long range planning in health to translate science into action and improved health outcomes
  • Management of planning and implementation grants
  • Conflict resolution among state agencies
  • Coordination of federal grants for environmental goals
  • Coordination of statewide environmental monitoring
  • Coordination with US military for land use and other issues in the state
  • Coordination of higher education initiatives and provide research in higher education planning

By Statute

State statutes define many of OPR’s roles and responsibilities, as outlined in the list below.

Government Code §17525 - The Director of OPR shall be a member of the Commission on State Mandates.

Health & Safety Code §50901 - The Director of the OPR shall serve as a nonvoting ex officio member of the Housing Finance Agency Board.

Public Resources Code §72002 - The Director of the OPR shall serve as a member of the Working Group on Environmental Justice.

Public Resources Code §75121 - The Director of OPR shall serve as a member of the Strategic Growth Council.

Public Resources Code §21080.3 - Upon request from a lead agency OPR shall assist the lead agency in determining which agencies are responsible agencies.

Public Resources Code §21080.4 - Upon request from a lead agency, OPR shall assist the lead agency in determining which public agencies have responsibility for carrying out or approving a proposed project. OPR shall ensure that required information pursuant to this section is transmitted to the lead agency and that affected agencies are notified regarding meetings requested pursuant to this section.

Public Resources Code §21083 - OPR shall prepare and develop proposed guidelines for the implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Public Resources Code §21086 - OPR shall review each request for addition or deletion of class of exempted projects and, as soon as possible, shall submit its recommendation to the Secretary of the Resources Agency for action.

Public Resources Code §21087 - OPR shall, at least once every two years, review the guidelines adopted pursuant to Section 21083 and shall recommend proposed changes or amendments to the Secretary of Resources.

Public Resources Code §21165 - OPR shall designate the appropriate lead agency within 21 days of receiving a request for lead agency determination in a bona fide lead agency dispute.

Government Code §4535.3 - With the cooperation of OPR, the Department of General Services shall adopt appropriate rules, regulations, and guidelines to implement this chapter.

Government Code §8870.75 - Numerous agencies, including OPR, shall coordinate the study of earthquake hazard reduction and prediction.

Government Code §13073.5 - The Population Research Unit shall cooperate with OPR with respect to functions involving mutual areas of concern. The Population Research Unit will coordinate with the OPR Environmental Data Center for the purposes of ensuring consistency and compatibility of data.

Government Code §65040.1 - OPR shall cooperate with Caltrans and other state and federal agencies in the development of a long range master plan for aviation.

Government Code §65040.12 - OPR shall be the coordinating agency in state government for environmental justice programs, to include consulting with the appropriate state agencies, coordinating with specified federal agencies, and reviewing and evaluating information obtained from federal agencies and the Working Group on Environmental Justice.

Government Code §65570 - The Secretary of the Resources Agency may establish rules and regulations and require reports on land converted to and from agricultural use from local officials and consult with the Director of Food and Agriculture, the Director of OPR, and the Director of Conservation.

Government Code §66631 - In order to avoid duplication of work, the commission shall make maximum use of data and information available from the planning programs of the state, OPR, the Association of Bay Area Governments, etc.

Health & Safety Code §46050.1 - The Office of Noise Control shall adopt guidelines for preparation and content of noise elements in coordination with OPR.

Public Resources Code §25324 - The State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, in consultation with the State Air Resources Board, the California Transportation Commission, OPR, and others shall identify and evaluate energy programs which might be used to achieve the forecast of energy use under a least environmental and economic cost scenario.

Public Resources Code §25404 - The State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission shall cooperate with OPR, the Resources Agency, and other interested parties in developing procedures to ensure that mitigation measures to minimize wasteful, inefficient, and unnecessary consumption of energy are included in all environmental impact reports.

Public Resources Code §30415 - The Director of OPR shall, in cooperation with the Coastal Commission and other appropriate state agencies, review the policies of this division.

Public Resources Code §30420 - Prior to taking any action on (1) a local coastal program or any amendment thereto, (2) any coastal development permit, or (3) any consistency determination or certification, which relates to the disposal of hazardous substances at sea, the Coastal Commission shall consult with the Director of OPR, among others.

Military and Veterans Code §1011.5 - State agencies, including, but not limited to, OPR, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Treasurer, and the Office of Project Development in DGS, may provide staff assistance to the Governor's Commission on a Southern California Veterans Home at its request.

Government Code §65037 - OPR is hereby established in state government in the Governor's Office. The office shall be under direct control of a director, who shall be responsible to the Governor.

Government Code §65038 - For the purpose of administering this chapter, the Governor shall appoint the Director of OPR, who shall perform all duties, exercise all powers, assume and discharge all responsibilities, and carry out and effect all purposes vested by law in the office, including contracting for professional or consultant services in connection with the work of the office.

Government Code §65039 - The Governor may appoint the Director of Planning and Research at a salary that shall be fixed pursuant to Section 12001.

Government Code §65040 - OPR shall serve the Governor and his cabinet as staff for long-range planning and research and constitute the comprehensive State Planning Agency. In this capacity the office shall:

  1. Assisted by the Planning Advisory and Assistance Council established pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 65040.6, engage in the formulation, evaluation and updating of long-range goals and policies for land use, population growth and distribution, urban expansion, development, open space, resource preservation and utilization, air and water quality, and other factors which shape statewide development patterns and significantly influence the quality of the state's environment.
  2. Assist in the orderly preparation by appropriate state departments and agencies of intermediate- and short-range functional plans to guide programs of transportation, water management, open space, recreation and other functions which relate to the protection and enhancement of the state's environment.
  3. In conjunction with the council, evaluate plans and programs of departments and agencies of state government, identify conflicts or omissions, and recommend to the Governor and the Legislature new state policies, programs and actions, or amendments of existing programs, as required, to resolve conflicts, advance statewide environmental goals to respond to emerging environmental problems and opportunities, and to assure that all state policies and programs conform to the adopted land use planning goals and programs.
  4. Assist the Department of Finance in preparing, as part of the annual state budget, an integrated program of priority actions to implement state functional plans and to achieve statewide environmental goals and objectives and take other actions to assure that the program budget, submitted annually to the Legislature, contains information reporting the achievement of state goals and objectives by departments and agencies of state government.
  5. Coordinate the development of policies and criteria to ensure the federal grants-in-aid administered or directly expended by state government advance statewide environmental goals and objectives.
  6. Coordinate the development and operation of a statewide environmental monitoring system to assess the implications of present growth and development trends on the environment and to identify at an early time, potential threats to public health, natural resources and environmental quality.
  7. Coordinate, in conjunction with appropriate state, regional, and local agencies, the development of objectives, criteria and procedures for the orderly evaluation and report of the impact of public and private actions on the environmental quality of the state and as a guide to the preparation of environmental impact reports required of state and local agencies in Sections 21102 and 21150 of the Public Resources Code.
  8. Coordinate research activities of state government directed to the growth and development of the state and the preservation of environmental quality, render advice to the Governor, to his Cabinet, to the Legislature, and any agency or department of state government, and provide information to, and cooperate with, the Legislature or any of its committees or officers.
  9. Coordinate the technical assistance provided by state departments and agencies in regional and local planning to assure that such plans are consistent with statewide environmental goals and objectives.
  10. Accept and allocate or expend grants and gifts from any source, public or private, for the purpose of state planning and undertake other planning and coordinating activities as will implement the policy and intent of the Legislature as set forth herein.
  11. Develop long-range policies to assist the state and local agencies in meeting the problems presented by the growth and development of urban areas and defining the complementary roles of the state, cities, counties, school districts, and special districts with respect to such growth.
  12. Encourage the formation and proper functioning of, and provide planning assistance to, city, county, district, and regional planning agencies.
  13. Develop, in conjunction with an advisory committee selected by the director from nominees submitted by the directors of state agencies providing social services, the League of California Cities, the County Supervisors Association of California, the California Committee of Regional Council Directors, the United Way of California, and the California Welfare Rights Organization, criteria for describing the social and economic characteristics of the population of each county in the state, subdivided on a census tract basis. These criteria shall be developed by January 1, 1978.
  14. Assist local government in land use planning.

Government Code §65035 - The Legislature recognizes that OPR is the most appropriate state agency to carry out statewide land use planning function. It is not the intent of the legislature to vest in OPR any direct operating or regulatory powers over land use, public works, or other state, regional, or local projects or programs.

Government Code §65040.2 - OPR shall develop and adopt guidelines for the preparation and content of the mandatory elements required in city and county general plans.

Government Code §65040.3 - OPR may furnish information and technical and professional advice on the preparation of master or general plans.

Government Code §65040.4 - OPR shall divide the state into regional planning districts.

Government Code §65040.5 - OPR shall notify any city or county whose general plan has not been revised within the past eight years. OPR shall notify the Attorney General of any city or county general plans that have not been revised within the past ten years.

Government Code §65040.6 - The Planning Advisory and Assistance Council is created within OPR.

Government Code §65891.5 - OPR shall participate in the Inter-Regional Partnership (IRP) program by assisting the Department of Housing and Community Development and other state, local, and regional agencies in developing an incentive program to promote improved jobs-housing balance in selected regions.

Health & Safety Code §50458 - The Department of Housing and Community Development shall assist and advise OPR on the performance of functions specified in Section 65040.3 of the Government Code. (Providing technical and professional advice on general or master plans.)

Public Resources Code §40181 - A Regional planning agency is any agency established by a legislative act and recognized by OPR as performing general environmental and resources planning.

Education Code §37220 - The California Commission on Improving Life Through Service, within OPR, shall make grants to local and state operated AmeriCorps or Conservation Corps programs, using funds appropriated by the Act or other available funds, to engage school students in community service in commemoration of the Cesar Chavez Day holiday.

Education Code §56881 - OPR shall establish procedures for the development and review state agency plans for funds available under all federal programs.

Government Code §4532 - OPR shall identify "Target Distressed Areas" to receive state contract preference. Areas must be an urbanized area within the state meeting certain census-based criteria.

Government Code §15399.45 - The California Rural Policy Task Force, with specified membership, is established within OPR. The Task Force is charged with overseeing the mobilization and effective delivery of the state's resources to rural California, studying the disbursement community development block grant funds, and reporting to the Governor and Legislature annually.

Government Code §15399.46 - Each member of the California Rural Policy Task Force shall develop a plan that identifies programs and resources that can be targeted for rural areas and for implementing the Act.

Government Code §16367.5 - The Department of Community Services & Development and OPR may enter into an interagency agreement concerning the education component of this section. OPR shall contract with local public or private nonprofit agencies for the education component.

Government Code §53542 - OPR, the California Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Finance, and the Senate and Assembly Offices of Research shall designate areas of economic distress for this section.

Government Code §65057 – The California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine is hereby established in the office. The office shall develop, implement, and evaluate demonstration projects on precision medicine in collaboration with public, nonprofit, and private entities. The office shall annually submit a report to the Legislature that provides an update of the demonstration projects selected. The office shall develop an inventory of precision medicine assets, including projects, data sets, and experts.

Public Resources Code §5024.5 - The State Historic Preservation Officer shall report to OPR for mediation instances of state agency refusal to propose, to consider, or to adopt prudent and feasible alternatives to eliminate or mitigate adverse effects on historical resources that are on the master list.

Public Resources Code §6370 - The State Lands Commission, acting in concert with the Resources Agency and OPR shall inventory unconveyed state school and tide and submerged lands and identify such lands which possess significant environmental values.

Public Resources Code §6370.1 - OPR shall define significant environmental values for purposes of section 6370.

Public Resources Code §29761 - The Director of OPR shall submit comments and recommendations on the resource management plan for the Delta Protection Commission's consideration, prior to the plan's adoption.

Public Resources Code §30400 - No state agency, including OPR, shall exercise any powers or carry out any duties or responsibilities established by this division or by the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 1451 et seq.) or any amendment thereto. The Director of OPR shall, in carrying out his or her duties as set forth in Section 30415, ensure that the provisions of this section are carried out.

Unemployment Insurance Code §15076.5 - The State Job Training Coordinating Council shall be the lead state agency to establish policies for integrating appropriate activities of the Department of Commerce, the Employment Development Department, the Employment Training Panel, the Department of Industrial Relations, the State Department of Education, the Chancellor's Office of the California Community Colleges, and OPR with the State Dislocated Worker Unit.

Welfare and Institutions Code §9520 - In consultation with an advisory board with specified membership, the California Commission on Improving Life Through Service, within OPR, shall establish a three-year intergenerational neighborhood-based pilot program to promote the use of senior volunteers in working with children and school staffs.

Government Code §65041 - The Governor [presumably assisted by OPR] shall prepare and thereafter shall cause to be maintained, regularly reviewed and revised a comprehensive State Environmental Goals and Policy Report.

Public Resources Code §5096.89 - The Secretary of Resources in cooperation with OPR, shall review materials submitted by county or counties for completeness and conformity with the State Environmental Goals and Public Policy Report.

Fish & Game Code §711.4 - Fish and Game filing fees shall be paid to the county clerk or OPR at the time of filing a notice of determination.

Government Code §7562 - If a state agency applies for federal funding for a mandatory responsibility under federal or state law and is disapproved, the agency shall submit its receipt of notification of disapproval to the Department of Finance and OPR.

Government Code §7564 - Any state agency which is denied federal agency approval of an application for funds as described in Section 7562 shall submit a report to the Department of Finance and OPR within 30 calendar days of receipt of notification of such lack of approval.

Government Code §8162.9 - Copies of plans for any development on city blocks surrounding the Stanford and Heilbron mansions shall be distributed by the State Clearinghouse within OPR to the State Office of Historical Preservation.

Government Code §53986 - Local agencies shall give written notice of adoption of a Community Facilities Plan to those state agencies affected, as determined by the State Clearinghouse in OPR.

Government Code §66521 - The Metropolitan Transportation Commission shall negotiate either directly or through OPR or other appropriate agency, with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for grants.

Public Resources Code §21091 - Criteria for shortened public review periods for documents which must be submitted to the State Clearinghouse shall be set forth in the written guidelines issued by OPR and made available to the public.

Public Resources Code §21108 - Whenever a state agency, board or commission approves or determines to carry out a project which is subject to this division, it shall file notice of that approval or that determination with OPR.

Public Resources Code §21159.9 - OPR shall implement a public education and training program for planners and other interested parties to assist with implementing CEQA and shall establish and maintain a data base and central repository for the collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of notices required by CEQA and make the notices available through the Internet.

Public Resources Code §21161 - Whenever a public agency has completed an environmental impact report it shall cause a notice of completion of that report to be filed with OPR.

Public Resources Code §25302 - Upon receipt of a report under Section 25300 from an electric utility, the State Energy Resources Commission shall forward copies thereof to OPR and other appropriate agencies.