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Hey Agencies and Legislators! “Scope” out CEQA’s new “Notice” Requirements

SB 972 was enacted in the recent legislative session along with four other environmental laws (AB 1492AB 2564SB 1169SB 1241). SB 972 (Simitian) relates to the California Environmental Quality Act’s mandate upon public agencies to provide notice of meetings and CEQA determinations.  The following is a brief summary of the SB 972, but the entire bill is available for you to review here.

Scoping Meetings: As currently required in the CEQA guidelines (Section 21083.9); when any organization or individual files a written request, a lead agency must notify them of all  scoping meetings for projects of statewide, regional, or area-wide significance. SB 972 now allows public agencies to file written requests for noticing.

CEQA Determinations: As currently required in the CEQA guidelines (Section 21092); when any organization or individual files a written request, a lead agency must notify them of any determination to require an EIR or ND (or when a determination is made that no CEQA review is required pursuant to Section 21157.1). SB 972 again extends this noticing requirement to public agencies, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program by imposing new duties upon local agencies.

Notice of Completion: CEQA guidelines section 21162 requires that the State Clearinghouse provide a Notice of Completion of an environmental impact report to any legislator in whose district the project has an environmental impact.  SB 972 imposes a requirement upon legislators to first provide written request for such noticing, similar to the requirements cited above.

What you need to know:

1)      Notice everyone that has requested to be involved in the CEQA Process be it the Scoping Notice, Notice of Preparation, Notice of Availability, or the Notice of Determination. Transparency is key to environmental disclosure.

2)      If your are a legislator, or work for a legislator’s office, submit formal letter to all “Lead Agencies” within your district to ensure that you are informed of the CEQA determinations within your district.

If you have a procedural question on noticing related to CEQA please contact FirstCarbon Solutions and we will be glad to assist you.

 

 

 

Did you enjoy this post? The author of this article is Trevor Macenski. Learn more about him here.

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