Evolution of State Clearinghouse Processes
Learn how State Clearinghouse processes have changed over the years.
Prior to transitioning to an online submission process in 2020, the SCH required 10–and later 15–hardcopies, delivered by mail or walk-in, of all filings of CEQA Environmental Documents that required State review, and in 2001, pursuant to AB 1807 (Longville), required all Notices of Preparations (NOP) of Draft Environmental Impact Reports to be filed with the SCH. In 2006, the SCH began accepting CD copies and USB drives of submissions and also began requiring the OPR Summary Form to accompany those submissions. Notices of Exemption (NOEs) and Determinations (NODs) were accepted via mail, email, fax, and walk-in.
Prior to transitioning to an exclusively online submission process, the SCH marked each CEQA notice with an official date stamp indicating the day it was received and posted.
The SCH no longer applies a date stamp to notices filed and published. To verify the date your document started State review (i.e., published to CEQAnet), please refer to the “Received” and/or “Posted” fields on your project’s CEQAnet profile. Individuals who are registered into CEQA Submit can also check the status of their submissions under the “My Documents” tab.
Each project that the SCH publishes receives a unique identification number. Prior to the year 2000, the SCH stamped each project with an 8-digit SCH identification number and later a 10-digit identification number. The first four digits always represent the year the SCH published the project; for projects that the SCH received as hardcopies before only accepting online submittals, the seventh digit indicates the geographic location (the “region”) of the project or unique type of document. The last three digits indicate the sequential order in which the SCH processed the document that month.
The above SCH number was the eighty-ninth document processed in May of 2012 for Region #3.
Currently, the first four digits of the SCH identification number indicate the year that the SCH processed the document (or the year that the first document under that SCH number was processed, in the case of SCH numbers that contain multiple projects). The next two digits indicate the month the SCH processed the document, and the last four digits indicate the sequential order in which the SCH processed the document that month.
Note: To search for a SCH number issued before the year 2000, you must enter “19” at the beginning. For example, if you are searching for SCH# 98101061 , enter it in as “1998101061” to match the new SCH number format.
The Newsletter was a summary of CEQA and other environmental documents and copies of federal grant assistance applications the SCH received during a bi-weekly period. The SCH printed and mailed the Newsletter to subscribers for many years until it transitioned to posting the Newsletter online – after which it was renamed the Summary of Postings (SOP).
The Summary of Postings document now summarizes the total number of CEQA and other environmental documents received annually between 1999-current year. It no longer houses the federal grant assistance applications received, as that information can now be found on OPR’s Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs database.
Additionally, OPR's CEQAnet database now houses all the summarized and detailed information of CEQA and other environmental documents filed with the SCH.
The SCH used to print and mail acknowledgement and closing letters to notify lead agencies of the SCH’s receipt of their CEQA project and any State agency comments received before the end of a project’s review period.
Since transitioning to a fully online submission process, the SCH has temporarily stopped sending acknowledgement and closing letters; however, we are in the process of developing a more detailed notification system that will notify submitters of the status of their project. SCH now requests State reviewing agencies to email comments to the lead agency and the SCH directly. State agency comments that the SCH receives before (and after) the end of the review period are available on CEQAnet. The SCH informs Lead Agencies to check their published project on the CEQAnet page for State agency comments (PRC 21104(c) and CEQA Guidelines Section 15044).
The SCH sends a weekly email to State reviewing agencies notifying them of new Environmental Documents and updates to those documents from the previous week. Reviewing agencies can then access projects that the SCH has selected them to review by entering their agency in the “Review Agency” field on the Advanced Search function on the CEQAnet online database. The contact information for the State reviewing agencies is updated frequently – please contact the SCH to obtain a copy of the most current list of contacts.
It is the reviewing agency’s responsibility to forward comments to the lead agency and the SCH via email.
Note: State Reviewing Agencies do not have to wait for this weekly email to access their projects for review. CEQAnet updates daily, so reviewing agencies can filter for their selected projects at any time.
Prior to January 2019, the SCH accepted federal assistance applications (SF-424 forms) via mail, fax, and email for physical posting pursuant to Executive Order 12372. The SCH also included a copy of applications it received in the Summary of Postings (SOP).
Federal assistance applications are now only accepted and posted online on OPR’s Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs database.