The latest information about the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
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AB 819 (Levine, 2021) will take effect on January 1, 2022, and will change various CEQA communication, noticing, and filing requirements, including:
- Allowing responsible agencies to be notified via email. (PRC § 21080.4(a).)
- Allowing responsible agencies to communicate with the lead agency via email regarding the scope of the environmental review. (PRC § 21080.4(a).)
- Requiring lead agencies to submit an electronic copy of DEIRs and proposed negative declarations or mitigated negative declarations to the State Clearinghouse. (PRC § 21082.1(c)(4).)
- Requiring lead agencies to post DEIRs, EIRs, negative declarations, or mitigated negative declarations on the lead agency’s website. (PRC § 21082.1(d).)
- The notices required by Section 21092, 21092.2, 20192.3 must be posted on the lead agency’s website in addition to one of the previous options. (PRC § 21092(b)(3); 21092.2(d), 21092.3.)
- State agency notices of determination and notices of exemption must be filed electronically with the State Clearinghouse, which must keep the notice on a public website for 12 months. (PRC § 21108.)
- Local agency notices of determination and notices of exemption must be filed electronically with the county clerk if that option is available. (PRC § 21152(d).)
- The county clerk may post the notice on its website instead of within the physical office. (PRC § 21152(c).)
Amending the public review periods as follows:
|Public Review Periods||Neg Dec or Mitigated Neg Dec (PRC § 21091(b))||Draft EIR (PRC § 21091(a))|
|Default||Not less than 20 days||Not less than 30 days|
||Not less than 30 days||Not less than 45 days|
CEQA & COVID-19
Please see guidance and information below regarding CEQA and COVID-19. OPR will post future updates on this website. Please email email@example.com if you would like to discuss any statutory or regulatory compliance issues that you are experiencing related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deadlines, Noticing, and Filing Requirements
During the COVID-19 pandemic, certain requirements under CEQA were modified by Executive Orders. As of September 30th, those Executive Orders are no longer in effect. (EO N-8-21)
Tribal Consultation Requirements
Pursuant to Executive Order N-80-20, certain timeframes for tribal consultation required under AB 52 (Chapter 532, Statutes 2014) were suspended. Specifically, the Executive Order suspended the timeframes governing when a tribe must request consultation and when lead agencies must begin the consultation process for an EIR, negative declaration, or mitigated negative declaration. Pursuant to EO N-8-21, these provisions remain in effect through September 30, 2021.
To the extent any timeframe within which a California Native American tribe must request consultation and the lead agency must begin the consultation process relating to an Environmental Impact Report, Negative Declaration, or Mitigated Negative Declaration under CEQA extends beyond September 30, 2021, the tribe and lead agency will receive the benefit of the extension so long as the triggering event occurred on or before September 30, 2021.
Regarding public meetings subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and the Brown Act, Executive Order provisions allowing increased flexibility for local and state bodies to conduct public meetings via teleconference expired on September 30, 2021.
However, AB 361 (Rivas, 2021) extends teleconference provisions (subject to the requirements in the statute). For local agency meetings subject to the Brown Act, the provisions expire January 1, 2024. For state agency meetings subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, the provisions expire January 31, 2022.
These publications compile bills passed by the Legislature during previous sessions and sent to the Governor’s Office for consideration. The bills that pertain to local and regional governance, including any changes to CEQA. While comprehensive, the publications are do not cover all bills that may be relevant to local and regional government.