Legal Resources | | T14 15065
Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act Article 5. Preliminary Review of Projects and Conduct of Initial Study Mandatory Findings of Significance.
(a) A lead agency shall find that a project may have a significant effect on the environment and thereby require an EIR to be prepared for the project where there is substantial evidence, in light of the whole record, that any of the following conditions may occur:
(1) The project has the potential to substantially degrade the quality of the environment; substantially reduce the habitat of a fish or wildlife species; cause a fish or wildlife population to drop below self-sustaining levels; threaten to eliminate a plant or animal community; substantially reduce the number or restrict the range of an endangered, rare or threatened species; or eliminate important examples of the major periods of California history or prehistory.
(2) The project has the potential to achieve short-term environmental goals to the disadvantage of long-term environmental goals.
(3) The project has possible environmental effects that are individually limited but cumulatively considerable. "Cumulatively considerable" means that the incremental effects of an individual project are significant when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects.
(4) The environmental effects of a project will cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly.
(b)(1) Where, prior to the commencement of preliminary review of an environmental document, a project proponent agrees to mitigation measures or project modifications that would avoid any significant effect on the environment specified by subdivision (a) or would mitigate the significant effect to a point where clearly no significant effect on the environment would occur, a lead agency need not prepare an environmental impact report solely because, without mitigation, the environmental effects at issue would have been significant.
(2) Furthermore, where a proposed project has the potential to substantially reduce the number or restrict the range of an endangered, rare or threatened species, the lead agency need not prepare an EIR solely because of such an effect, if:
(A) the project proponent is bound to implement mitigation requirements relating to such species and habitat pursuant to an approved habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan;
(B) the state or federal agency approved the habitat conservation plan or natural community conservation plan in reliance on an environmental impact report or environmental impact statement; and
(C)1. such requirements avoid any net loss of habitat and net reduction in number of the affected species, or
2. such requirements preserve, restore, or enhance sufficient habitat to mitigate the reduction in habitat and number of the affected species to below a level of significance.
(c) Following the decision to prepare an EIR, if a lead agency determines that any of the conditions specified by subdivision (a) will occur, such a determination shall apply to:
(1) the identification of effects to be analyzed in depth in the environmental impact report or the functional equivalent thereof,
(2) the requirement to make detailed findings on the feasibility of alternatives or mitigation measures to substantially lessen or avoid the significant effects on the environment,
(3) when found to be feasible, the making of changes in the project to substantially lessen or avoid the significant effects on the environment, and
(4) where necessary, the requirement to adopt a statement of overriding considerations.
Public Resources Code 21083
Public Resources Code 21001(c)
Public Resources Code 21083
San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Center v. County of Stanislaus (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 608
Los Angeles Unified School District v. City of Los Angeles (1997) 58 Cal.App.4th 1019, 1024
Communities for a Better Environment v. California Resources Agency (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 98.
(Amended by Register 2005, No. 40.)