The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was enacted 1970, with modest changes since then. However, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has published its most significant proposed updates to the Guidelines in the past 20 years for administrative review and approval by the Agency of Natural Resources. While not yet law, once approved, the Guidelines will become regulations by which public agencies and private organizations alike must abide by, as the Guidelines are given great weight by California Courts.
The proposed changes will go through the formal California Administrative Procedure Act process, which takes a minimum of 6 months to complete. The process includes one mandatory 45-day public comment period, though more may occur.
The Guidelines package may change substantially or not at all through the formal public process and the best way to influence the outcome is to engage in the public rulemaking process. Starting in January 2018, Kronick will publish a series of legal alerts that describe categories of proposed changes. In the meantime, you may obtain a copy of the proposed changes and contact any of our Environmental and Natural Resources Law attorneys if you have any questions about these updates or CEQA related issues.