Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 13. ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY [21000 - 21189.57]

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

CHAPTER 2.5. Definitions [21060 - 21074]
  ( Chapter 2.5 added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154. )

21060.
  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions in this chapter govern the construction of this division.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154.)

21060.1.
  

(a) “Agricultural land” means prime farmland, farmland of statewide importance, or unique farmland, as defined by the United States Department of Agriculture land inventory and monitoring criteria, as modified for California.

(b) In those areas of the state where lands have not been surveyed for the classifications specified in subdivision (a), “agricultural land” means land that meets the requirements of “prime agricultural land” as defined in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 51201 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 812, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21060.3.
  

“Emergency” means a sudden, unexpected occurrence, involving a clear and imminent danger, demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential public services. “Emergency” includes such occurrences as fire, flood, earthquake, or other soil or geologic movements, as well as such occurrences as riot, accident, or sabotage.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21060.5.
  

“Environment” means the physical conditions which exist within the area which will be affected by a proposed project, including land, air, water, minerals, flora, fauna, noise, objects of historic or aesthetic significance.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154.)

21061.
  

“Environmental impact report” means a detailed statement setting forth the matters specified in Sections 21100 and 21100.1; provided that information or data which is relevant to such a statement and is a matter of public record or is generally available to the public need not be repeated in its entirety in such statement, but may be specifically cited as the source for conclusions stated therein; and provided further that such information or data shall be briefly described, that its relationship to the environmental impact report shall be indicated, and that the source thereof shall be reasonably available for inspection at a public place or public building. An environmental impact report also includes any comments which are obtained pursuant to Section 21104 or 21153, or which are required to be obtained pursuant to this division.

An environmental impact report is an informational document which, when its preparation is required by this division, shall be considered by every public agency prior to its approval or disapproval of a project. The purpose of an environmental impact report is to provide public agencies and the public in general with detailed information about the effect which a proposed project is likely to have on the environment; to list ways in which the significant effects of such a project might be minimized; and to indicate alternatives to such a project.

In order to facilitate the use of environmental impact reports, public agencies shall require that such reports contain an index or table of contents and a summary. Failure to include such index, table of contents, or summary shall not constitute a cause of action pursuant to Section 21167.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21061.1.
  

“Feasible” means capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21061.2.
  

“Land evaluation and site assessment” means a decisionmaking methodology for assessing the potential environmental impact of state and local projects on agricultural land.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 812, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1994.)

21061.3.
  

“Infill site” means a site in an urbanized area that meets either of the following criteria:

(a) The site has not been previously developed for urban uses and both of the following apply:

(1) The site is immediately adjacent to parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses, or at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses, and the remaining 25 percent of the site adjoins parcels that have previously been developed for qualified urban uses.

(2) No parcel within the site has been created within the past 10 years unless the parcel was created as a result of the plan of a redevelopment agency.

(b) The site has been previously developed for qualified urban uses.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 728, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2009.)

21062.
  

“Local agency” means any public agency other than a state agency, board, or commission. For purposes of this division a redevelopment agency and a local agency formation commission are local agencies, and neither is a state agency, board, or commission.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 222.)

21063.
  

“Public agency” includes any state agency, board, or commission, any county, city and county, city, regional agency, public district, redevelopment agency, or other political subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154.)

21064.
  

“Negative declaration” means a written statement briefly describing the reasons that a proposed project will not have a significant effect on the environment and does not require the preparation of an environmental impact report.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21064.3.
  

“Major transit stop” means a site containing an existing rail transit station, a ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1039, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

21064.5.
  

“Mitigated negative declaration” means a negative declaration prepared for a project when the initial study has identified potentially significant effects on the environment, but (1) 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 (2) there is no substantial evidence in light of the whole record before the public agency that the project, as revised, may have a significant effect on the environment.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1230, Sec. 3. Effective September 30, 1994.)

21065.
  

“Project” means an activity which may cause either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the environment, and which is any of the following:

(a) An activity directly undertaken by any public agency.

(b) An activity undertaken by a person which is supported, in whole or in part, through contracts, grants, subsidies, loans, or other forms of assistance from one or more public agencies.

(c) An activity that involves the issuance to a person of a lease, permit, license, certificate, or other entitlement for use by one or more public agencies.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1230, Sec. 4. Effective September 30, 1994.)

21065.3.
  

“Project-specific effect” means all the direct or indirect environmental effects of a project other than cumulative effects and growth-inducing effects.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1039, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2003.)

21065.5.
  

“Geothermal exploratory project” means a project as defined in Section 21065 composed of not more than six wells and associated drilling and testing equipment, whose chief and original purpose is to evaluate the presence and characteristics of geothermal resources prior to commencement of a geothermal field development project as defined in Section 65928.5 of the Government Code. Wells included within a geothermal exploratory project must be located at least one-half mile from geothermal development wells which are capable of producing geothermal resources in commercial quantities.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1271.)

21066.
  

“Person” includes any person, firm, association, organization, partnership, business, trust, corporation, limited liability company, company, district, county, city and county, city, town, the state, and any of the agencies and political subdivisions of those entities, and, to the extent permitted by federal law, the United States, or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 272, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)

21067.
  

“Lead agency” means the public agency which has the principal responsibility for carrying out or approving a project which may have a significant effect upon the environment.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1154.)

21068.
  

“Significant effect on the environment” means a substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse change in the environment.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21068.5.
  

“Tiering” or “tier” means the coverage of general matters and environmental effects in an environmental impact report prepared for a policy, plan, program or ordinance followed by narrower or site-specific environmental impact reports which incorporate by reference the discussion in any prior environmental impact report and which concentrate on the environmental effects which (a) are capable of being mitigated, or (b) were not analyzed as significant effects on the environment in the prior environmental impact report.

(Added by Stats. 1983, Ch. 967, Sec. 1.)

21069.
  

“Responsible agency” means a public agency, other than the lead agency, which has responsibility for carrying out or approving a project.

(Added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1312.)

21070.
  

“Trustee agency” means a state agency that has jurisdiction by law over natural resources affected by a project, that are held in trust for the people of the State of California.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 744, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

21071.
  

“Urbanized area” means either of the following:

(a) An incorporated city that meets either of the following criteria:

(1) Has a population of at least 100,000 persons.

(2) Has a population of less than 100,000 persons if the population of that city and not more than two contiguous incorporated cities combined equals at least 100,000 persons.

(b) An unincorporated area that satisfies the criteria in both paragraph (1) and (2) of the following criteria:

(1) Is either of the following:

(A) Completely surrounded by one or more incorporated cities, and both of the following criteria are met:

(i) The population of the unincorporated area and the population of the surrounding incorporated city or cities equals not less than 100,000 persons.

(ii) The population density of the unincorporated area at least equals the population density of the surrounding city or cities.

(B) Located within an urban growth boundary and has an existing residential population of at least 5,000 persons per square mile. For purposes of this subparagraph, an “urban growth boundary” means a provision of a locally adopted general plan that allows urban uses on one side of the boundary and prohibits urban uses on the other side.

(2) The board of supervisors with jurisdiction over the unincorporated area has previously taken both of the following actions:

(A) Issued a finding that the general plan, zoning ordinance, and related policies and programs applicable to the unincorporated area are consistent with principles that encourage compact development in a manner that does both of the following:

(i) Promotes efficient transportation systems, economic growth, affordable housing, energy efficiency, and an appropriate balance of jobs and housing.

(ii) Protects the environment, open space, and agricultural areas.

(B) Submitted a draft finding to the Office of Planning and Research at least 30 days prior to issuing a final finding, and allowed the office 30 days to submit comments on the draft findings to the board of supervisors.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1039, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2003.)

21072.
  

“Qualified urban use” means any residential, commercial, public institutional, transit or transportation passenger facility, or retail use, or any combination of those uses.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1039, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2003.)

21073.
  

“California Native American tribe” means a Native American tribe located in California that is on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission for the purposes of Chapter 905 of the Statutes of 2004.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 532, Sec. 3. (AB 52) Effective January 1, 2015.)

21074.
  

(a) “Tribal cultural resources” are either of the following:

(1) Sites, features, places, cultural landscapes, sacred places, and objects with cultural value to a California Native American tribe that are either of the following:

(A) Included or determined to be eligible for inclusion in the California Register of Historical Resources.

(B) Included in a local register of historical resources as defined in subdivision (k) of Section 5020.1.

(2) A resource determined by the lead agency, in its discretion and supported by substantial evidence, to be significant pursuant to criteria set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 5024.1. In applying the criteria set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 5024.1 for the purposes of this paragraph, the lead agency shall consider the significance of the resource to a California Native American tribe.

(b) A cultural landscape that meets the criteria of subdivision (a) is a tribal cultural resource to the extent that the landscape is geographically defined in terms of the size and scope of the landscape.

(c) A historical resource described in Section 21084.1, a unique archaeological resource as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 21083.2, or a “nonunique archaeological resource” as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 21083.2 may also be a tribal cultural resource if it conforms with the criteria of subdivision (a).

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 532, Sec. 4. (AB 52) Effective January 1, 2015.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC