Code Section

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 13. ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY [21000 - 21189.70.10]

  ( Division 13 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1433. )
  

CHAPTER 2.6. General [21080 - 21098]
  ( Chapter 2.6 added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154. )

  
21091.  

(a) The public review period for a draft environmental impact report shall not be less than 30 days. If the draft environmental impact report is submitted to the State Clearinghouse for review, the review period shall be at least 45 days, and the lead agency shall provide a sufficient number of copies of the document, in either a hard-copy or electronic form as required by the Office of Planning and Research, to the State Clearinghouse for review and comment by state agencies.

(b) The public review period for a proposed negative declaration or proposed mitigated negative declaration shall not be less than 20 days. If the proposed negative declaration or proposed mitigated negative declaration is submitted to the State Clearinghouse for review, the review period shall be at least 30 days, and the lead agency shall provide a sufficient number of copies of the document, in either a hard-copy or electronic form as required by the Office of Planning and Research, to the State Clearinghouse for review and comment by state agencies.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), if a draft environmental impact report, proposed negative declaration, or proposed mitigated negative declaration is submitted to the State Clearinghouse for review and the period of review by the State Clearinghouse is longer than the public review period established pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b), whichever is applicable, the public review period shall be at least as long as the period of review and comment by state agencies as established by the State Clearinghouse.

(2) The public review period and the state agency review period may, but are not required to, begin and end at the same time. Day one of the state agency review period shall be the date that the State Clearinghouse distributes the CEQA document to state agencies.

(3) If the submittal of a CEQA document is determined by the State Clearinghouse to be complete, the State Clearinghouse shall distribute the document within three working days from the date of receipt. The State Clearinghouse shall specify the information that will be required in order to determine the completeness of the submittal of a CEQA document.

(d) (1) The lead agency shall consider comments it receives on a draft environmental impact report, proposed negative declaration, or proposed mitigated negative declaration if those comments are received within the public review period.

(2) (A) With respect to the consideration of comments received on a draft environmental impact report, the lead agency shall evaluate comments on environmental issues that are received from persons who have reviewed the draft and shall prepare a written response pursuant to subparagraph (B). The lead agency may also respond to comments that are received after the close of the public review period.

(B) The written response shall describe the disposition of each significant environmental issue that is raised by commenters. The responses shall be prepared consistent with Section 15088 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.

(3) (A) With respect to the consideration of comments received on a draft environmental impact report, proposed negative declaration, proposed mitigated negative declaration, or notice pursuant to Section 21080.4, the lead agency shall accept comments via electronic mail and shall treat electronic-mail comments as equivalent to written comments.

(B) Any law or regulation relating to written comments received on a draft environmental impact report, proposed negative declaration, proposed mitigated negative declaration, or notice received pursuant to Section 21080.4 shall also apply to electronic-mail comments received for those reasons.

(e) (1) Criteria for shorter review periods by the State Clearinghouse for documents that must be submitted to the State Clearinghouse shall be set forth in the written guidelines issued by the Office of Planning and Research and made available to the public.

(2) Those shortened review periods may not be less than 30 days for a draft environmental impact report and 20 days for a negative declaration.

(3) A request for a shortened review period shall only be made in writing by the decisionmaking body of the lead agency to the Office of Planning and Research. The decisionmaking body may designate by resolution or ordinance a person authorized to request a shortened review period. A designated person shall notify the decisionmaking body of this request.

(4) A request approved by the State Clearinghouse shall be consistent with the criteria set forth in the written guidelines of the Office of Planning and Research.

(5) A shortened review period may not be approved by the Office of Planning and Research for a proposed project of statewide, regional, or areawide environmental significance as determined pursuant to Section 21083.

(6) An approval of a shortened review period shall be given prior to, and reflected in, the public notice required pursuant to Section 21092.

(f) Prior to carrying out or approving a project for which a negative declaration has been adopted, the lead agency shall consider the negative declaration together with comments that were received and considered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 476, Sec. 2. (SB 122) Effective January 1, 2017.)