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In June 2018, the State of California Office of Planning and Research published a technical advisory on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemptions outside the statute (Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.). While this technical advisory focuses on providing guidance to public agencies (land use officials and decision-makers) applying CEQA, it is also useful for professional consultants, CEQA practitioners, and project applicants who must comply with this environmental regulation.

CEQA and the CEQA Guidelines require state and local government agencies to inform decision-makers and the public about the potential environmental impacts of projects, and to reduce those environmental impacts to the extent feasible. A "project" is a discretionary action and could include a vast array of private- and public-sector activities, including new or modified public rules or regulations, commercial constructions, industrial facility expansions, modifications to a power plant, highways and other public works, utility projects, residential developments, and many others. The California Legislature has established CEQA exemptions for a wide range of reasons. A number of these exemptions included in the recent technical advisory are outside those defined in the CEQA statute; additionally, most of these exemptions are not in the CEQA Guidelines.

If you would like more information on how CEQA may apply to your project(s) and whether you may qualify for an exemption, please contact Valerie Rosenkrantz. Trinity Consultants serves its major industrial clients with CEQA compliance support when new facility permits or modifications trigger CEQA. Trinity also prepares air quality impact assessments, including health risk assessments, for a wide range of projects throughout California.