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SB-288 California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions: transportation-related projects.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/27/2020 09:00 PM
SB288:v90#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 27, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 03, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 04, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 09, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 01, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 288


Introduced by Senator Wiener

February 13, 2019


An act to amend Sections 21080 and Section 21080.20 of, and to add Section 21080.25 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 288, as amended, Wiener. California Environmental Quality Act: exemptions. exemptions: transportation-related projects.
(1) The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
CEQA includes exemptions from its environmental review requirements for numerous categories of projects, including, among others, projects for the institution or increase of passenger or commuter services on rail or highway rights-of-way already in use and projects for the institution or increase of passenger or commuter service on high-occupancy vehicle lanes already in use, as specified.
This bill would revise and recast the above-described exemptions and further exempt from the requirements of CEQA certain projects projects, including projects for the institution or increase of new bus rapid transit and regional transit, bus, or light rail services on public rail or highway rights of way, rights-of-way, as specified, whether or not it is presently used the right-of-way is in use for public mass transit, as specified, and projects for the institution or increase of passenger or commuter service on designation and conversion of general purpose lanes, high-occupancy toll lanes, high-occupancy vehicle lanes lanes, or existing roadway shoulders. highway shoulders, as specified. The bill would additionally exempt projects for rail, light rail, and bus maintenance, repair, storage, administrative, and operations facilities; and projects for the repair or rehabilitation of publicly-owned local, major or minor collector, or minor arterial or major arterial bridges, as specified. that improve customer information and wayfinding for transit riders, bicyclists, or pedestrians, and projects for pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The bill would require those exempt projects to meet additional specified criteria. criteria, including that a public agency is carrying out the project and is the lead agency for the project. The bill would require the lead agency to certify that those projects will be carried out by a skilled and trained workforce, except as provided. For those exempted projects exceeding $100,000,000 in 2020 United States dollars, the bill would require the lead agency to complete and consider the results of a project business case and a racial equity analysis, as prescribed, would require the lead agency, before exempting a project from CEQA, to hold at least 3 noticed public meetings in the project area to hear and respond to public comments, and would require the lead agency, in at least one of those public meetings, to review the project business case and the racial equity analysis, and would also require the lead agency to conduct at least 2 noticed public meetings annually during project construction for the public to provide comments.
This bill would exempt from the requirements of CEQA projects for zero-emission fueling stations and chargers and projects for pedestrian and bicycle facilities. By requiring a lead agency to determine the applicability of this exemption, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) CEQA, until January 1, 2021, exempts from its requirements bicycle transportation plans for an urbanized area for restriping of streets and highways, bicycle parking and storage, signal timing to improve street and highway intersection operations, and related signage for bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles under certain conditions. conditions, including the requirement that the lead agency, before determining that a project is exempt, prepare an assessment of any traffic and safety impacts of the project and include measures in the bicycle transportation plan to mitigate potential vehicular traffic impacts and bicycle and pedestrian safety impacts.
This bill would extend the above exemption until January 1, 2030. The bill also would, among other things, remove the above requirement related to traffic and safety impacts and measures.

(3)The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YESNO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans has also left 4.5 million Californians or 23 percent of the workforce unemployed, and that number is growing. We are now anticipating a period of extreme and prolonged economic strain.
(2) There are approximately 1.6 million transportation workers statewide. These jobs are also increasingly at risk as the COVID-19 pandemic has left transit and transportation agencies, cities, and the state with shrunken budgets. For the foreseeable future, transit and transportation agencies and cities will need to do more with less.
(3) Investments in building public transit, complete streets, and bicycle lanes are proven job generators and can help California avoid an extreme and prolonged recession by growing and protecting jobs. Studies have shown that complete streets projects create an average of 10 jobs per one million dollars. Investments in public transportation result in an average of 13 jobs per one million dollars spent and have a 5 to 1 economic return.
(4) California’s road to recovery cannot be crowded with cars. As other cities around the world are reopening their economies, they are experiencing a surge in driving. California will fail to meet its ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb pollution if auto traffic surges.
(5) If California fails to prevent the surge in driving as the state reopens, it will continue to disadvantage the state’s most vulnerable populations. African American and Hispanic populations already shoulder a disproportionate burden of the state’s air pollution and have higher rates of the underlying conditions that make COVID-19 especially dangerous.
(6) The way to prevent this surge in driving and put people to work quickly in high-quality jobs is by building out a transportation network that gets people where they need to go safely, reliably, and affordably. High-quality public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects create a more equitable California by improving access to jobs, services, and medical care; saving lives by reducing collisions; improving transportation choices; reducing air pollution; and increasing household disposable income.
(7) Now is an ideal time to make investments in transit and sustainable transportation. This is the time when construction will have the least disruption to riders, drivers, and local businesses.
(8) The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code)(CEQA) is the state’s foremost law for safeguarding the state’s remarkable biodiversity and for ensuring community involvement in discretionary project approvals made by state, local, and regional agencies.
(9) The Legislature understands the value of CEQA and also understands the value of transit and sustainable transportation to our communities. Transit and sustainable transportation can help preserve and create jobs, grow local and regional economies, reduce emissions, connect communities, and create safe, affordable, and reliable mobility choices for all. When projects are delayed by litigation, often lasting three to five years, so too are the economic, environmental, and social benefits.
(10) The amendments to CEQA made by this act address only sustainable transportation projects that can accelerate the construction of projects to preserve and grow jobs while ensuring quick progress towards California’s environment environmental goals and improve the public health of Californians.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to reduce the time and cost associated with delivering transit and sustainable transportation projects in the state, based on the need to rapidly create, attract, and protect jobs; increase access to safe and affordable transportation; decarbonize our transportation system; system; improve the productivity and reliability of transit; and improve mobility and connectivity throughout California. The Legislature intends to establish additional statutory exemptions from CEQA for public transit, bicycle, and pedestrian enhancement projects that significantly enhance service quality, enhance access to transit, reduce pollution, and improve the safety of our streets.
(c) The Legislature further finds and declares the projects described in Section 4 3 of this act do not have a significant impact on the environment and are declared to be statutorily exempt from the requirements of CEQA to prepare environmental documents.
SEC. 2.Section 21080 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
21080.

(a)Except as otherwise provided in this division, this division shall apply to discretionary projects proposed to be carried out or approved by public agencies, including, but not limited to, the enactment and amendment of zoning ordinances, the issuance of zoning variances, the issuance of conditional use permits, and the approval of tentative subdivision maps unless the project is exempt from this division.

(b)This division does not apply to any of the following activities:

(1)Ministerial projects proposed to be carried out or approved by public agencies.

(2)Emergency repairs to public service facilities necessary to maintain service.

(3)Projects undertaken, carried out, or approved by a public agency to maintain, repair, restore, demolish, or replace property or facilities damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster in a disaster-stricken area in which a state of emergency has been proclaimed by the Governor pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(4)Specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency.

(5)Projects that a public agency rejects or disapproves.

(6)Actions undertaken by a public agency relating to any thermal powerplant site or facility, including the expenditure, obligation, or encumbrance of funds by a public agency for planning, engineering, or design purposes, or for the conditional sale or purchase of equipment, fuel, water (except groundwater), steam, or power for a thermal powerplant, if the powerplant site and related facility will be the subject of an environmental impact report, negative declaration, or other document, prepared pursuant to a regulatory program certified pursuant to Section 21080.5, which will be prepared by the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, by the Public Utilities Commission, or by the city or county in which the powerplant and related facility would be located if the environmental impact report, negative declaration, or document includes the environmental impact, if any, of the action described in this paragraph.

(7)Activities or approvals necessary to the bidding for, hosting or staging of, and funding or carrying out of, an Olympic games under the authority of the International Olympic Committee, except for the construction of facilities necessary for the Olympic games.

(8)The establishment, modification, structuring, restructuring, or approval of rates, tolls, fares, or other charges by public agencies that the public agency finds are for the purpose of (A) meeting operating expenses, including employee wage rates and fringe benefits, (B) purchasing or leasing supplies, equipment, or materials, (C) meeting financial reserve needs and requirements, (D) obtaining funds for capital projects necessary to maintain service within existing service areas, or (E) obtaining funds necessary to maintain those intracity transfers as are authorized by city charter. The public agency shall incorporate written findings in the record of any proceeding in which an exemption under this paragraph is claimed setting forth with specificity the basis for the claim of exemption.

(9)All classes of projects designated pursuant to Section 21084.

(10)Facility extensions not to exceed four miles in length which are required for the transfer of passengers from or to exclusive public mass transit guideway or busway public transit services.

(11)A project for the development of a regional transportation improvement program, the state transportation improvement program, or a congestion management program prepared pursuant to Section 65089 of the Government Code.

(12)Any project or portion of a project located in another state that will be subject to environmental impact review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 4321 et seq.) or similar state laws of that state. Any emissions or discharges that would have a significant effect on the environment in this state are subject to this division.

(13)Projects undertaken by a local agency to implement a rule or regulation imposed by a state agency, board, or commission under a certified regulatory program pursuant to Section 21080.5. Any site-specific effect of the project that was not analyzed as a significant effect on the environment in the plan or other written documentation required by Section 21080.5 is subject to this division.

(14)Publicly accessible zero-emission fueling stations and chargers in an urbanized area.

(15)Pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including new facilities. For purposes of this paragraph, “bicycle facilities” include, but are not limited to, bicycle parking, bicycle sharing facilities, and bicycle lanes.

(c)If a lead agency determines that a proposed project, not otherwise exempt from this division, would not have a significant effect on the environment, the lead agency shall adopt a negative declaration to that effect. The negative declaration shall be prepared for the proposed project in either of the following circumstances:

(1)There is no substantial evidence, in light of the whole record before the lead agency, that the project may have a significant effect on the environment.

(2)An initial study identifies potentially significant effects on the environment, but (A) revisions in the project plans or proposals made by, or agreed to by, the applicant before the proposed negative declaration and initial study are released for public review would avoid the effects or mitigate the effects to a point where clearly no significant effect on the environment would occur, and (B) there is no substantial evidence, in light of the whole record before the lead agency, that the project, as revised, may have a significant effect on the environment.

(d)If there is substantial evidence, in light of the whole record before the lead agency, that the project may have a significant effect on the environment, an environmental impact report shall be prepared.

(e)(1)For purposes of this section and this division, substantial evidence includes fact, a reasonable assumption predicated upon fact, or expert opinion supported by fact.

(2)Substantial evidence is not argument, speculation, unsubstantiated opinion or narrative, evidence that is clearly inaccurate or erroneous, or evidence of social or economic impacts that do not contribute to, or are not caused by, physical impacts on the environment.

(f)As a result of the public review process for a mitigated negative declaration, including administrative decisions and public hearings, the lead agency may conclude that certain mitigation measures identified pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) are infeasible or otherwise undesirable. In those circumstances, the lead agency, prior to approving the project, may delete those mitigation measures and substitute for them other mitigation measures that the lead agency finds, after holding a public hearing on the matter, are equivalent or more effective in mitigating significant effects on the environment to a less than significant level and that do not cause any potentially significant effect on the environment. If those new mitigation measures are made conditions of project approval or are otherwise made part of the project approval, the deletion of the former measures and the substitution of the new mitigation measures shall not constitute an action or circumstance requiring recirculation of the mitigated negative declaration.

(g)Nothing in this section shall preclude a project applicant or any other person from challenging, in an administrative or judicial proceeding, the legality of a condition of project approval imposed by the lead agency. If, however, any condition of project approval set aside by either an administrative body or court was necessary to avoid or lessen the likelihood of the occurrence of a significant effect on the environment, the lead agency’s approval of the negative declaration and project shall be invalid and a new environmental review process shall be conducted before the project can be reapproved, unless the lead agency substitutes a new condition that the lead agency finds, after holding a public hearing on the matter, is equivalent to, or more effective in, lessening or avoiding significant effects on the environment and that does not cause any potentially significant effect on the environment.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 Section 21080.20 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

21080.20.
 (a) This division does not apply to a bicycle transportation plan prepared pursuant to Section 891.2 of the Streets and Highways Code for an urbanized area for the restriping of streets and highways, bicycle parking and storage, signal timing to improve street and highway intersection operations, and the related signage for bicycles, pedestrians, and vehicles.
(b) Before determining that a project is exempt pursuant to this section, the lead agency shall do both of the following:
(1)Hold shall hold noticed public hearings in areas affected by the bicycle transportation plan to hear and respond to public comments. Publication of the notice shall be no fewer times than required by Section 6061 of the Government Code by the public agency in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the proposed project. If more than one area will be affected, the notice shall be published in the newspaper of largest circulation from among the newspapers of general circulation in those areas.

(2)Prepare an assessment of any traffic and safety impacts of the project and include measures in the bicycle transportation plan to mitigate potential vehicular traffic impacts and bicycle and pedestrian safety impacts.

(c) If a local agency determines that a project is not subject to this division pursuant to this section and it determines to approve or carry out that project, the notice shall be filed with the Office of Planning and Research and the county clerk in the county in which the project is located in the manner specified in subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 21152.
(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2030, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.SEC. 3.

 Section 21080.25 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21080.25.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Affordable housing” means any of the following:
(A) Housing that is subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law that restricts rents or sales prices to levels affordable, as defined in Section 50052.5 or 50053 of the Health and Safety Code, to persons and families of moderate, lower, or very low income, as defined in Section 50079.5, 50093, or 50105 of the Health and Safety Code, respectively.
(B) Housing that is subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power.
(C) Housing that had been occupied by tenants within five years from the date of approval of the development agreement by a primary tenant who was low income and did not leave voluntarily.
(2)  “Highway” means a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. “Highway” includes a street.
(3)  “New automobile capacity” means any new lane mileage of any kind other than sidewalks or bike lanes.
(4)  “Project labor agreement” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2500 of the Public Contract Code.
(5)  “Skilled and trained workforce” has the same meaning as provided in Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 2600) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.
(6)  “Urbanized area” means a location wholly within the boundaries of an urbanized area, as designated by the United States Census Bureau.
(b) This division does not apply to any of the following projects:

(1)A project for the institution or increase of public mass transit, including bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, and passenger rail, or commuter services on existing rail or highway rights of way, whether or not the right of way is presently used for public mass transit, including all of the following:

(A)The modernization of existing stations, including, but not limited to, improvements to station function, safety, circulation, capacity, sustainability, appearance, or customer experience.

(1) Pedestrian and bicycle facilities, including new facilities. For purposes of this paragraph, “bicycle facilities” include, but are not limited to, bicycle parking, bicycle sharing facilities, and bikeways as defined in Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(2) Projects that improve customer information and wayfinding for transit riders, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

(B)

(3) Transit prioritization projects and facilities that improve reliability and reduce delay and improve customer information, delay, including, but not limited to, signal priority, priority and train control systems, and customer information and wayfinding systems. systems or transportation communications networks.

(C)Designation and conversion of general purpose lanes to exclusive lanes for high-occupancy vehicle lanes or high occupancy toll lanes.

(D)Designation and conversion of general purpose lanes to bus-only lanes within existing public rights of way either during peak congestion hours or all day.

(E)The construction

(4) On highways with existing public transit service or that will be implementing public transit service within three years of the conversion, a project for the designation and conversion of existing general purpose lanes to exclusive lanes for high-occupancy vehicle lanes or high occupancy toll lanes, or for the conversion of high-occupancy vehicle lanes to high occupancy toll lanes.
(5) On highways with existing public transit service or that will be implementing public transit service within six months of the conversion, a project for the designation and conversion of general purpose lanes or highway shoulders to bus-only lanes, for use either during peak congestion hours or all day.
(6) A project for the institution or increase of new bus rapid transit, bus, or light rail stations or ferry stops located service, including the construction of stations, on existing public rights of way, rights-of-way or existing highway rights of way, or public marinas, rights-of-way, whether or not the right of way or marina right-of-way is presently used in use for public mass transit or ferry service. transit.
(7) The maintenance, repair, relocation, replacement, or removal of any utility infrastructure associated with a project identified in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive.

(F)

(8) A project that combines any of the components of subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive. a project identified in paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive.

(2)A project for the institution or increase of passenger or commuter service on high-occupancy vehicle lanes or existing roadway shoulders, including the modernization of existing stations.

(3)Rail, light rail, and bus maintenance, repair, storage, administrative, and operations facilities.

(4)

The repair or rehabilitation of publicly-owned local, major or minor collector, or minor arterial or major arterial bridges, provided that the repair or rehabilitation does not add automobile capacity and provided that the bridge roadway is functionally classified by the Federal Highway Administration as a one of the following: “local,” “major collector,” “minor collector,” or “minor arterial,” and located in an urbanized area.

(c) A project exempt from this division under this section shall meet all of the following criteria:
(1) A public agency is carrying out the project and is the lead agency for the project.
(2) The project is located in an urbanized area or connects two or more urbanized areas. area.
(3) The project is located on or within an existing public right-of-way.
(4) The project shall not add physical infrastructure that increases new automobile capacity on existing rights-of-way except for minor modifications needed for the efficient and safe movement of transit vehicles, such as extended merging lanes. The project shall not include the addition of any auxiliary lanes.
(5) The construction of the project shall not require the demolition of affordable housing units.

(3)

(6) For a project exceeding one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000), both of ($100,000,000) in 2020 United States dollars, a project exempt from this division under this section shall also meet all of the following:
(A) The project is incorporated in a regional transportation plan, sustainable communities strategy, general plan, or other plan that has undergone a programmatic-level environmental review pursuant to this division within 10 years of the approval of the project.

(B)The lead agency or project applicant has completed an independent peer review of the project, including cost and benefit estimates, equity analysis, planning, engineering, design, financing plan, and project management or project risk controls. The Office of Planning and Research may establish standards for the peer review, or delegate that authority to a metropolitan planning organization.

(4)The project does not add new automobile capacity to an existing public right-of-way.

(5)The project shall strive to avoid the demolition of affordable housing units and prevent the direct displacement of tenants. For any project that involves the demolition of affordable housing, the lead agency shall do both of the following:

(A)Replace the affordable housing that is demolished within five years from the date of approval of the notice of exemption.

(B)Provide tenants displaced by the demolition of the affordable housing with assistance in both of the following:

(i)The acquisition of a comparable housing unit within one mile of the property that is demolished.

(ii)The cost of relocation as well as rental assistance at least equal to any difference of the previous rent and the rent of the relocation site for 12 months.

(B) (i) The lead agency shall complete and consider the results of a project business case and a racial equity analysis. The Office of Planning and Research may set standards for the project business case and the racial equity analysis or delegate that authority to metropolitan planning organizations.
(ii) The project business case required under this subparagraph shall set forth the rationale for why the project should be implemented to solve a problem or address an opportunity, outline strategic goals and objectives of the project, evaluate other options to achieve the project’s objectives, describe the economic costs and benefits of the project, describe the financial implications of the project, and establish what is required to deliver and operate the project.
(iii) The racial equity analysis required under this subparagraph shall identify the racial equity impacts of the project, identify who will benefit from and be burdened by the project, and, where significant or disproportionate impacts exist, suggest strategies, designs, or actions to mitigate those impacts.
(C) The lead agency shall hold noticed public meetings as follows:
(i) Before determining that a project is exempt pursuant to this section, the lead agency shall hold at least three noticed public meetings in the project area to hear and respond to public comments.
(ii) At least one of the three public meetings shall review the project business case and the racial equity analysis. The review of these documents does not inhibit or preclude application of this section.
(iii) The lead agency shall conduct at least two noticed public meetings annually during project construction for the public to provide comments.
(iv) The public meetings held pursuant to clauses (i) to (iii), inclusive, shall be in the form of either a public community planning meeting held in the project area or in the form of a regularly scheduled meeting of the governing body of the lead agency.
(D) The lead agency shall give public notice of the meetings in subparagraph (C) to the last known name and address of all the organizations and individuals that have previously requested notice and shall also give the general public notice using at least one of the following procedures:
(i) Publication of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the project. If more than one area will be affected, the notice shall be published in the newspaper of largest circulation from among the newspapers of general circulation in those areas.
(ii) Posting of the notice onsite and offsite in the area where the project is located.
(iii) Posting of the notice on the lead agency’s internet website and social media accounts.
(d) (1) In addition to the requirements of subdivision (c), before granting an exemption under this section, the lead agency shall certify that the project will be completed by a skilled and trained workforce.
(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), for a project that is exempted under this section, the lead agency shall not enter into a construction contract over ten million dollars ($10,000,000) with any entity unless the entity provides to the lead agency an enforceable commitment that the entity and its subcontractors at every tier will use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all work on the project or a contract that falls within an apprenticeship occupation in the building and construction trades in accordance with Chapter 2.9 (commencing with Section 2600) of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code.
(B) Subparagraph (A) does not apply if any of the following requirements are met:
(i) The lead agency has entered into a project labor agreement that will bind all contractors and subcontractors performing work on the project or the lead agency has contracted to use a skilled and trained workforce and the entity has agreed to be bound by that project labor agreement.
(ii) The project or contract is being performed under the extension or renewal of a project labor agreement that was entered into by the lead agency before January 1, 2021.
(iii) The lead agency has entered into a project labor agreement that will bind the lead agency and all its subcontractors at every tier performing the project or the lead agency has contracted to use a skilled and trained workforce.

SEC. 5.

This

SEC. 4.

 (a) This act does not authorize a transportation authority, the Department of Transportation, a city, or any other lead agency to bypass or avoid compliance with other applicable safety, public health, environmental, or labor requirements.
(b) Nothing in this act shall preclude a lead agency from using any other statutory or categorical exemption if the applicable project also qualifies for any other statutory exemption or categorical exemption.
SEC. 6.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code.