Legal Resources | | T14 15097
Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act Article 7. EIR Process Mitigation Monitoring or Reporting.
(a) This section applies when a public agency has made the findings required under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 15091 relative to an EIR or adopted a mitigated negative declaration in conjunction with approving a project. In order to ensure that the mitigation measures and project revisions identified in the EIR or negative declaration are implemented, the public agency shall adopt a program for monitoring or reporting on the revisions which it has required in the project and the measures it has imposed to mitigate or avoid significant environmental effects. A public agency may delegate reporting or monitoring responsibilities to another public agency or to a private entity which accepts the delegation; however, until mitigation measures have been completed the lead agency remains responsible for ensuring that implementation of the mitigation measures occurs in accordance with the program.
(b) Where the project at issue is the adoption of a general plan, specific plan, community plan or other plan-level document (zoning, ordinance, regulation, policy), the monitoring plan shall apply to policies and any other portion of the plan that is a mitigation measure or adopted alternative. The monitoring plan may consist of policies included in plan-level documents. The annual report on general plan status required pursuant to the Government Code is one example of a reporting program for adoption of a city or county general plan.
(c) The public agency may choose whether its program will monitor mitigation, report on mitigation, or both. "Reporting" generally consists of a written compliance review that is presented to the decision making body or authorized staff person. A report may be required at various stages during project implementation or upon completion of the mitigation measure. "Monitoring" is generally an ongoing or periodic process of project oversight. There is often no clear distinction between monitoring and reporting and the program best suited to ensuring compliance in any given instance will usually involve elements of both. The choice of program may be guided by the following:
(1) Reporting is suited to projects which have readily measurable or quantitative mitigation measures or which already involve regular review. For example, a report may be required upon issuance of final occupancy to a project whose mitigation measures were confirmed by building inspection.
(2) Monitoring is suited to projects with complex mitigation measures, such as wetlands restoration or archeological protection, which may exceed the expertise of the local agency to oversee, are expected to be implemented over a period of time, or require careful implementation to assure compliance.
(3) Reporting and monitoring are suited to all but the most simple projects. Monitoring ensures that project compliance is checked on a regular basis during and, if necessary after, implementation. Reporting ensures that the approving agency is informed of compliance with mitigation requirements.
(d) Lead and responsible agencies should coordinate their mitigation monitoring or reporting programs where possible. Generally, lead and responsible agencies for a given project will adopt separate and different monitoring or reporting programs. This occurs because of any of the following reasons: the agencies have adopted and are responsible for reporting on or monitoring different mitigation measures; the agencies are deciding on the project at different times; each agency has the discretion to choose its own approach to monitoring or reporting; and each agency has its own special expertise.
(e) At its discretion, an agency may adopt standardized policies and requirements to guide individually adopted monitoring or reporting programs. Standardized policies and requirements may describe, but are not limited to:
(1) The relative responsibilities of various departments within the agency for various aspects of monitoring or reporting, including lead responsibility for administering typical programs and support responsibilities.
(2) The responsibilities of the project proponent.
(3) Agency guidelines for preparing monitoring or reporting programs.
(4) General standards for determining project compliance with the mitigation measures or revisions and related conditions of approval.
(5) Enforcement procedures for noncompliance, including provisions for administrative appeal.
(6) Process for informing staff and decision makers of the relative success of mitigation measures and using those results to improve future mitigation measures.
(f) Where a trustee agency, in timely commenting upon a draft EIR or a proposed mitigated negative declaration, proposes mitigation measures or project revisions for incorporation into a project, that agency, at the same time, shall prepare and submit to the lead or responsible agency a draft monitoring or reporting program for those measures or revisions. The lead or responsible agency may use this information in preparing its monitoring or reporting program.
(g) When a project is of statewide, regional, or areawide importance, any transportation information generated by a required monitoring or reporting program shall be submitted to the transportation planning agency in the region where the project is located and to the California Department of Transportation. Each transportation planning agency and the California Department of Transportation shall adopt guidelines for the submittal of such information.
Public Resources Code 21083
Public Resources Code 21081.6
Public Resources Code 21081.7
(Amended by Register 2005, No. 40.)