CEQA Document Submission

Please see guidance and information below regarding CEQA and COVID-19. Any future updates will be posted on OPR’s website. Additionally, please email us at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov if you would like to discuss any statutory or regulatory compliance issues that you are experiencing related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Deadlines, Noticing, and Filing Requirements

Pursuant to Executive Order N-80-20, signed on September 23, 2020, certain requirements for filing, noticing, and posting of CEQA documents with county clerk offices have been conditionally suspended and alternate requirements must be taken in lieu of those requirements. Please note, however, that public agencies or project applicants who are able to comply with CEQA’s existing requirements for public filing, notice, and public access (and therefore need not avail themselves of the condition suspension in the Order) may do so without further satisfying the conditions in the Order and described below.

According to Executive Order N-80-20, the following public notices are not required to be filed, posted, and made publicly available at the relevant county clerk’s office, despite CEQA’s requirements, if an appropriate alternative is provided (as discussed below):

  • Posting of notices of preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) or negative declaration required by Public Resources Code section 21080.4 and 21092 (Pub. Resources Code, § 21092.3)
  • Filing and posting of notices of determination (Pub. Resources Code, § 21152)
  • Filing, posting, and making copies available for public inspection notices of exemption, if those notices are filed at all (CEQA Guidelines, § 15062(c)(2), (c)(4))
  • Posting notices of intent to adopt negative declarations or mitigated negative declarations (CEQA Guidelines, § 15072(d))
  • Filing, posting, and making available for public inspection notices of determination for negative declarations or mitigated negative declarations (CEQA Guidelines, § 15075(a), (d), (e))
  • Posting of notices of availability of draft EIRs (CEQA Guidelines, § 15087(d))
  • Posting of notices of determination (CEQA Guidelines, § 15094(a), (d), (e))

A lead agency, responsible agency, or project applicant that complies with all of the following conditions shall deemed to have fully satisfied the above-listed CEQA requirements on public filing, posting, notice, and public access:

  • Post the notices listed above on the lead or responsible agency’s website for the same length of time that would be required for physical posting,
  • Submit all notices listed above to the State Clearinghouse’s CEQAnet web portal, and
  • With exception to the provisions that have been suspended, lead and responsible agencies and project applicants must perform public noticing and outreach to all interested parties as allowed and required by CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines; for example, as required by CEQA Guidelines section 15087(a), agencies and applicants must continue to give notice to all entities who have requested notice.

Lead and responsible agencies and project applicants are encouraged to use any other available and appropriate methods to provide public notice. This may have included notification by e-mail and telephone of proposed projects to community organizations, among other methods.

The Executive Order remains in effect until it is modified or rescinded, or until the State of Emergency is terminated, whichever occurs sooner. The Executive Order does not suspend CEQA’s requirements in their entirety for public filing, notice, posting, and public access; rather, the Order provides an alternate means of complying with those requirements in light of the current pandemic.

Deadlines for public review and comment periods for CEQA documents, such as for draft EIRs and negative declarations, were not suspended and those deadlines remained unchanged. CEQA establishes a floor and not a ceiling for public review and comment periods. Lead and responsible agencies may use their discretion to extend such time periods to allow for additional public review and comments.

Any filing fees required by Fish & Game Code section 711.4 and submitted with notices of determination at the county clerk’s office must still have been paid to that office. OPR recommended that when submitting notices to the CEQAnet web portal, public agencies or project applicants also have submitted a signed letter (which can be signed by the lead or responsible agency or project applicant) stating they have submitted proper payment of the required Fish & Game Code fees or a copy of a receipt from a county clerk’s office.

Please note that the State Clearinghouse is still operating every weekday from 9 am to 4 pm. Clearinghouse staff can be reached via phone at 916-445-0613 or via email at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov if you have any questions.

How to File Environmental Documents and Notices

Office of Planning and Research (OPR), State Clearinghouse (SCH) Unit discontinued the acceptance in hard copies of environmental documents and notices of determinations and exemptions starting on November 3rd, 2020. Email method of notices of exemptions and determinations to the state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov is also, no longer accepted as of that date. All agencies are required to submit online to the CEQA Submit Database, where your CEQA notices and documents will be filed and posted.

To be registered to submit CEQA documents online, please see Register to Submit CEQA Documents.

For more information, reference the CEQA Database User Guide.

Mail / Hand Deliveries of CA Fish & Wildlife CEQA Fees (reference Notice of Determination (NOD) tab)
State Clearinghouse
1400 Tenth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
PO Box
To Prevent Delays, DO NOT USE!
P.O. Box 3044
Sacramento, CA 95812

Office and Delivery Hours

Monday–Friday (excluding holidays) 9:00a.m.–4:00p.m.

Filing Deadlines

Public Resources Code Section 21091(c)(3) allows for “three working days from the date of receipt” for the SCH to start the state review period and distribute the draft documents to state agencies for review and comment.

As of November 3, 2020 the State Clearinghouse (SCH) only accepts submissions of CEQA Documents via our CEQA Submit database. Please email the SCH at state.clearinghouse@opr.ca.gov with a filled out CEQA Submit Registration Form in order to begin submitting your documents.

The SCH is open 9:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. every weekday (excluding holidays) to answer questions on and process your CEQA uploads. We post the documents we receive to the CEQANet Portal daily.

If you want your documents to be published the same day as your submittal, please upload documents by these times:

  • Environmental Documents by 3:30 p.m.
  • Notices of Determination (NODs) and Notices of Exemption (NOEs) by 4:00 p.m.

Please also keep these guidelines in mind as you submit your documents:

  • State Review Periods must not start or end on weekends and/or holidays.
  • If your document requires local review only, you must comply with Executive Order N-80-20 and include a Shortened Review Request form with your submission, noting “Local Only Review” in the “Explanation” section.
  • Environmental documents, NODs, and NOEs submitted before the cutoff times listed in the above section will be made available online regardless of the start date of the review period.
  • Updates to published projects (i.e. extended review, corrections, etc.) must be emailed to the SCH. You cannot add uploads to published projects online.

Finally, please note that the SCH no longer applies a SCH Date Stamp to notices submitted online. To verify the date your document was received and posted, refer to the “Date Received” and “Date Posted” categories on your project’s CEQANet profile. Registered Users may log into CEQA Submit to check the status of their submissions under the “My Documents” tab.

Summary of Document Submission Requirements

As of March 8, 2019: Documents filed with the State Clearinghouse may have the environmental document(s) or notice(s) available on: CEQANet.

Disclaimer: Documents prior to March 8, 2019, may only have summarized information. Note that the documents on CEQANet have been posted in the manner they were received. If you need assistance accessing content in an alternate format, please email us at accessibility@opr.ca.gov. You may also contact us via phone at (916) 445-0613.

Requirements

To File with OPR: Register to Submit

Starting November 3, 2020 hard copies are no longer accepted.

Disclaimer: State and Federal agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites. Local agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites.

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

Data Entry: Make sure to complete all applicable fields in the CEQA Submit Database. Once you fill out all applicable fields, upload your documents to the ‘Attachments’ tab in the CEQA Submit Database.

All uploads must be text recognizable; if you are using Adobe Acrobat to edit your PDF documents, you must run the documents through Adobe’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. If you are using a different application, check with your IT Department on how to ensure text recognition in your uploads.

The names of all of your uploads must be descriptive of the content of the document (for document naming guidelines, see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide).

Include the following uploads:

  • Notice of Completion Transmittal Form (NOC)
    • Category to select: NOC category
  • Notice of Availability (NOA)/ Notice of Intent (NOI)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Draft EIR/MND/ND/OTHER
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Initial Study (IS)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • OPR’s Summary Form
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Appendices/maps (if applicable)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • If your document requires local review only, you must comply with Executive Order N-80-20 and include a Shortened Review Request form with your submission, noting “Local Only Review” in the “Explanation” section.
    • Include above (A–F)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document

Updates to published projects (i.e. extended review, corrections, etc.) must be emailed to the SCH. You cannot add uploads to published projects online.

Requirements

OPR is responsible for implementing Presidential Executive Order (EO) 12372. This EO requires federal agencies to use state and local process for intergovernmental coordination. OPR is available to assist federal agencies with review of NEPA documents and associated intergovernmental coordination.

CEQA allows for use of NEPA documents in place of CEQA documents. Submission through OPR is required to use those provisions. See CEQA Guidelines:15225 Section 2.

Recommendations

To File with OPR: Register to Submit

Submit Online: CEQA Submit

Questions on CEQA database: Contact SCH

Starting November 3, 2020 hard copies are no longer accepted.

Disclaimer: State and Federal agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites. Local agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites.

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Page.

Data Entry: Make sure to complete all applicable fields in the CEQA Submit Database. Once you fill out all applicable fields, upload your documents to the ‘Attachments’ tab in the CEQA Submit Database.

All uploads must be text recognizable; if you are using Adobe Acrobat to edit your PDF documents, you must run the documents through Adobe’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. If you are using a different application, check with your IT Department on how to ensure text recognition in your uploads.

The names of all of your uploads must be descriptive of the content of the document (for document naming guidelines, see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide).

Include the following uploads:

  • Notice of Completion Transmittal Form (NOC)
    • Category to select: NOC category
  • Notice of Availability (NOA)/ Notice of Intent (NOI)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Draft Federal Environmental Document
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Initial Study (IS)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • OPR’s Summary Form
    • Category to select: Environmental Document
  • Appendices/maps (if applicable)
    • Category to select: Environmental Document

Updates to published projects (i.e. extended review, corrections, etc.) must be emailed to the SCH. You cannot add uploads to published projects online.

Download
Notice of Completion (NOC)  
Requirements

Include with EIRs

Advisory

To prevent delays and to ensure accurate entry in CEQAnet, include a NOC with all ND/MNDs, NOPs, EAs, EISs, NOIs, and Tribal Compact Environmental Evaluations.

Refer to Environmental Document(s) Requirements

Download
Notice of Determination (NOD)  
Requirements

CEQA Submit

First Time Users: Register to Submit

Disclaimer: State and Federal agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites. Local agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites.

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

Data Entry: Make sure to complete all applicable fields in the CEQA Submit Database. Once you fill out all applicable fields, upload your documents to the ‘Attachments’ tab in the CEQA Submit Database.

All uploads must be text recognizable; if you are using Adobe Acrobat to edit your PDF documents, you must run the documents through Adobe’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. If you are using a different application, check with your IT Department on how to ensure text recognition in your uploads.

The names of all of your uploads must be descriptive of the content of the document (for document naming guidelines, see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide).

Include the following upload(s):

  • Notice of Determination (NOD) Form
    • Category to select: Notice of Determination (see page 1 of the CEQA Database User Guide)
  • Certified/Approved Final Draft (optional)
    • Category to select: Final Documents (see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide)
  • Additional references to the NOD
    • Category to select: Notice of Determination

State LEAD Agency: Pay fees or show proof of payment

  • Same Day Posting: State lead agency must file NOD and pay Fish and Wildlife fees. Refer to CA Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
  • Payment of Fees: Endorse checks payable to: California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)
  • Deliver Payment of Fees: Mail or Walk-In CDFW Payment (with online submission of NOD):
    State Clearinghouse
    1400 Tenth Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814

Local agencies: Pay fees to County Clerk’s Office or comply with Executive Order N-80-20.

Download
Notice of Exemption (NOE)  
Requirements

CEQA Submit

First Time Users: Register to Submit

Disclaimer: State and Federal agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites. Local agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites.

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

Data Entry: Make sure to complete all applicable fields in the CEQA Submit Database. Once you fill out all applicable fields, upload your documents to the ‘Attachments’ tab in the CEQA Submit Database.

All uploads must be text recognizable; if you are using Adobe Acrobat to edit your PDF documents, you must run the documents through Adobe’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. If you are using a different application, check with your IT Department on how to ensure text recognition in your uploads.

The names of all of your uploads must be descriptive of the content of the document (for document naming guidelines, see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide).

Include the following upload(s):

  • Notice of Exemption (NOE) Form
    • Category to select: Notice of Exemption (see page 1 of the CEQA Database User Guide)
  • Additional references to the NOE
    • Category to select: Notice of Exemption (see page 1 of the CEQA Database User Guide)
Download
Shortened Review Request  
Requirements

Prior approval from responsible/trustee agencies

Recommendations

Contact the SCH with the following:

  • Shortened Review Request form
    • State Agency Consent
  • NOC Form
  • Draft environmental document

If your document requires local review only, you must comply with Executive Order N-80-20 and include a Shortened Review Request form with your submission, noting “Local Only Review” in the “Explanation” section.

Recommendations

Refer to CEQA Guidelines 15044.

Advisory

Email the SCH
Note: Do Not send a hard copy .

Closing Letters

Currently, an intermission is in place of acknowledgements to the close of review period on your CEQA environmental document. During this phase, comments submitted by State Agencies at the close of review period (and after) are available on CEQAnet.

  • Please visit CEQAnet Advanced Search
  • Filter for the “SCH number” or “Lead Agency”
    • If filtering by “Lead Agency”, select the correct project

    State agency comment(s) will be available in the “attachments” section, highlighted and bold, in the “Reviewing Agencies” section.

Requirements

Not required

Recommendations

CEQA Submit

First Time Users: Register to Submit

Disclaimer: State and Federal agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites. Local agencies must comply with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act for documents posted and made available on internet websites.

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

May upload with filing of Notice of Determination (NOD).

Data Entry: Make sure to complete all applicable fields in the CEQA Submit Database. Once you fill out all applicable fields, upload your documents to the ‘Attachments’ tab in the CEQA Submit Database.

All uploads must be text recognizable; if you are using Adobe Acrobat to edit your PDF documents, you must run the documents through Adobe’s Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. If you are using a different application, check with your IT Department on how to ensure text recognition in your uploads.

The names of all of your uploads must be descriptive of the content of the document (for document naming guidelines, see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide).

Include the following upload(s):

  1. Certified/Approved Final
    • Category to select: Final Documents (see page 25 of the CEQA Database User Guide)
  2. Additional references to the Final
    • Category to select: Final Documents

State requirements (filing with OPR):

Forms

  • Informs reviewers that a Draft EIR is complete (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15085). A copy of the NOC must accompany the EIR submitted to OPR. The SCH requires completing this document for all draft (Refer to Environmental Document(s) Requirements) Mitigated/Negative Declarations (ND/MND), Notices of Preparation (NOP), Notices of Intent, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements, Early Consultations, and Tribal Compact Environmental Evaluations for accurate indexing in the CEQAnet Database.

  • Lead and responsible agencies are required to notify OPR and/or the county clerk when they make a determination to approve a project subject to CEQA (CEQA Guidelines, Sections 15075 and 15094). There are fees associated with this form so please review the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife web site  .

  • Informs OPR and/or the county clerk that the lead agency has determined that a project is exempt from CEQA review (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15062).

  • Informs reviewers of the lead agency’s intent to prepare an EIR (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15082). We require a 1) a Notice of Completion Form to accompany the NOP for accurate indexing in the CEQAnet database and, 2) submit online: CEQA Submit with applicable attachments, initial studies, maps, and other documentation describing the project.

  • Required with online submission. A copy of this document should be included when a Lead Agency submits an environmental document (refer to Environmental Document(s) Requirements ) of a EIR, ND/MND, or NOP to the SCH. The SCH will still accept other summaries, such as and EIR executive summary prepared pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15123, attached to the electronic copies of the document.

  • Under certain circumstances, a shortened review may be granted (refer to Public Resources Code Section 21091, CEQA Guidelines Section 15105 and Appendix K of the CEQA Guidelines). Contact the SCH prior for approval. If your document requires local review only, you must comply with Executive Order N-80-20 and include a Shortened Review Request form with your submission, noting “Local Only Review” in the “Explanation” section.

  • Updated Appendix G to include AB 52 Tribal Consultation changes approved by the Office of Administrative Law on September 27, 2016.

  • For permits related to cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, or other commercial activity, CEQA review is typically done at the local level first, as part of a city or county’s local review process for a discretionary permit. Evidence of this local CEQA compliance is then submitted to the relevant state licensing authority as part of the license application. Please see the regulations of the relevant state licensing authority for information about the CEQA review process that authority conducts when considering a license application.

Certified Regulatory Programs (CRP)

Submission of Notice of Decisions and Payment of California Department of Fish and Wildlife Fees

State agencies and departments are required to submit Notice of Decisions for projects approved under a CRP to the Office of the Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency. Environmental filing fees for CRP’s must be paid directly to the DFG. Below are the addresses for the filing of the Notice of Decision and for the payment of filing fees for projects that fall under Certified Regulatory Programs only.

Send Notice of Decisions for CRP’s to:

California Natural Resources Agency
Office of Assistant General Counsel
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814

Send Checks for CRP projects to Fish and Wildlife to:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Accounting Services Branch
ATTN: Cash Receipts
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244-2090
(916) 653-9873