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Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act Article 4. Lead Agency Criteria for Identifying the Lead Agency.   

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Where two or more public agencies will be involved with a project, the determination of which agency will be the lead agency shall be governed by the following criteria:

(a) If the project will be carried out by a public agency, that agency shall be the lead agency even if the project would be located within the jurisdiction of another public agency.

(b) If the project is to be carried out by a nongovernmental person or entity, the lead agency shall be the public agency with the greatest responsibility for supervising or approving the project as a whole.

(1) The lead agency will normally be the agency with general governmental powers, such as a city or county, rather than an agency with a single or limited purpose such as an air pollution control district or a district which will provide a public service or public utility to the project.

(2) Where a city prezones an area, the city will be the appropriate lead agency for any subsequent annexation of the area and should prepare the appropriate environmental document at the time of the prezoning. The local agency formation commission shall act as a responsible agency.

(c) Where more than one public agency equally meet the criteria in subdivision (b), the agency which will act first on the project in question shall be the lead agency.

(d) Where the provisions of subdivisions (a), (b), and (c) leave two or more public agencies with a substantial claim to be the lead agency, the public agencies may by agreement designate an agency as the lead agency. An agreement may also provide for cooperative efforts by two or more agencies by contract, joint exercise of powers, or similar devices.

Authority cited:

Public Resources Code 21083


Public Resources Code 21165

(Amended by Register 2005, No. 40.)