Responsible Agency Adopts  a Statement of Overriding Considerations

What is a Statement of Overriding Considerations?

  • A statement of the responsible agency’s views on the ultimate balancing of the merits of approving a project despite its environmental damage.

When Does a Responsible Agency Adopt a Statement of Overriding Considerations?

  • When the agency decides to approve a project that will cause one or more significant environmental effects, the responsible agency shall prepare a statement of overriding considerations which reflects the ultimate balancing of competing public objectives (including environmental, legal, technical, social, and economic factors).

What Standard Must a Responsible Agency Follow in Adopting a Statement of Overriding Considerations?

  • The statement must:
  • be in writing and;
  • state specific reasons supporting agency action based on the final EIR or other substantial evidence in the record.
  • Responsible agency is responsible for considering only the effects of those activities involved in a project over which the responsible agency has jurisdiction.

What Constitutes Substantial Evidence?

  • Substantial evidence includes facts, reasonable assumptions predicated upon facts, and expert opinions supported by facts.
  • Substantial evidence is not argument, speculation, unsubstantiated opinion or narrative, evidence which is clearly inaccurate or erroneous, or evidence of social or economic impacts which do not contribute to or are not caused by physical impacts on the environment.


Selected Statutory References

Selected Guidelines References

Selected Cases .

  • Sierra Club v. Contra Costa County (1992) 10 Cal.App.4th 1212: Court held that a statement of overriding considerations must be supported by substantial evidence in the record or contained in the final EIR.

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