Decision-Making Body of
the Responsible Agency Considers the Final EIR or Negative Declaration
Prepared by the Lead Agency

What Must the Decision-Making Body Consider When Reviewing the Final EIR or Negative Declaration?

  • Environmental effects of the project as shown in the EIR or negative declaration.

What are the Responsible Agency's Options if it Believes the Final EIR or Negative Declaration is Not Adequate?

  • Take the issue to court within 30 days after the lead agency files its notice of determination (NOD).
  • Prepare a subsequent EIR in accordance with §15162.
  • If the responsible agency was not consulted regarding the preparation fo the EIR or negative declaration, it may assume the role as the lead agency as provided by §15052(a)(3).

What if the Responsible Agency Does Not Take the Issue to Court Within 30 Days?

  • The responsible agency is then deemed to have waived any objection to the adequacy of the EIR or negative declaration.

If the Responsible Agency Does File Suit Within 30 Days, What is the Status of the EIR during Litigation?

  • A responsible agency must treat the EIR as legally valid during the litigation process.
SELECTED STATUTORY REFERENCES

Definition of Responsible Agency | Public Resources Code §21069
Subsequent and Supplemental EIRs | Public Resources Code §21166
Statute of Limitations | Public Resources Code §21167(c)
Presumption of Compliance | Public Resources Code §21167.2
EIR Valid During Litigation | Public Resources Code §21167.3

SELECTED GUIDELINES REFERENCES

Consideration by Decision-Making Body| 14 California Code of Regulations §15050(b)
Shift in Lead Agency Designation | 14 California Code of Regulations §15052(a)(3) and (b); see also lead agency designation page
Actions for Inadequate EIR or Neg Dec | 14 California Code of Regulations §15096(e)
Subsequent or Supplemental EIR | 14 California Code of Regulations §15096(f)
Statute of Limitations | 14 California Code of Regulations §15112
Standards for Subsequent EIRs and Neg Decs | 14 California Code of Regulations §15162
Standards for Supplemental EIRs | 14 California Code of Regulations §15163
Definition of Responsible Agency | 14 Cal ifornia Code of Regulations §15381

SELECTED CASES

Laurel Heights Improvement Association v. U.C. Regents (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1112: Court holds if neither the responsible agency nor anyone else has filed suit within the period prescribed by the statue of limitations, the lead agency's EIR is presumed to be legally adequate.
City of Redding v. Shasta County Local Agency Formation Commission (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 1169: Enforces statutory mandate (PRC §21167.3) that requires responsible agencies to treat the environmental documents of lead agencies as being leagally adequate although litigation over the documents is pending.
Lexington Hil ls Association v. State of California (1988) 200 Cal.App.3d 415: Court discusses the criteria by which a permitting agency qualifies as a responsible agency.

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