The final EIR should consist of:
A public agency has one year to complete and certify an EIR. The time limit begins from the date on which an application requesting approval of the project is received and accepted as complete by the state agency. A reasonable extension o f the time period is allowed.
If an EIR, or a focused EIR is prepared under a contract to a state agency, the contract shall be executed within 45 days from the date on which the state agency sends a notice of preparation.
Although formal hearings are not required, public hearings are very important. Public participation is an essential part of the CEQA process and draft EIRs should be used for discussion purposes during the public hearings. The Lead Agency should also allow the public adequate time to review the EIR.
Where individual projects are, or a phased project is, to be undertaken and where the total undertaking comprises a project with significant environmental effect, the Lead Agency should prepare a single program EIR for the ultimate project. Where an individual project is a necessary precedent for action on a larger project, or commits the Lead Agency to a larger project, with significant environmental effect, an EIR must address itself to the scope of the larger project. Where one project is one of several similar projects of a public agency but is not deemed a part of a larger undertaking or a larger project, the agency may prepare one EIR for all projects, or one for each project, but should always comment upon the cumulative effect.
Where a large capital project will require a number of discretionary approvals from government agencies and one of the approvals will occur more than two years before construction will begin, a staged EIR may be prepared covering the entire project in a general form.
The staged EIR should evaluate the proposal in light of current and contemplated plans and produce an informed estimate of the environmental consequences of the entire project. The aspect of the project before the public agency for approval should be discussed with a greater degree of specificity.
Yes. When a staged EIR has been prepared, a supplement to the EIR should be prepared when a later approval is required for the project, and the information available at the time of the later approval would permit consideration of additional environmental impacts, mitigation measures, or reasonable alternatives to the project.
Yes. Where a statute provides that a specific agency shall be the Lead Agency for a project and requires the Lead Agency to prepare an EIR, a Responsible Agency which must grant an approval for the project before the Lead Agency has completed the EIR may prepare and consider a staged EIR.
A program EIR is an EIR which may be prepared on a series of actions that can be characterized as one large project and are related either:
Use of a program EIR can provide the following advantages. The program EIR can:
Subsequent activities in the program must be examined in the light of the program EIR to determine whether an additional environmental document must be prepared. If a later activity would have effects that were not examined in the program EIR, a new Initial Study would need to be prepared leading to either an EIR or a Negative Declaration. If the agency finds that no new effects could occur or no new mitigation measures would be required, the agency can approve the activity as being within the scope of the project covered by the program EIR, and no new environmental document would be required. An agency should incorporate feasible mitigation measures and alternatives developed in the program EIR into subsequent actions in the program. Some other things to consider:
Yes. A program EIR is intended to be used to simplify the task of preparing subsequent environmental documents. The program EIR can:
Concerned Citizens of Costa Mesa, Inc. v. 32nd District Agricultural, Assoc. (1986) 42 Cal.3d 929
The court emphasized that the public holds a "privileged position" in the CEQA process "based on a belief that citizens can make important contributions to environmental protection and on notions of democratic decision making."