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What are Local CEQA Guidelines?

Public agencies are required to adopt implementing procedures for administering their responsibilities under CEQA. These procedures include provisions on how the agency will process environmental documents and provide for adequate comment, time periods for review, and lists of permits that are ministerial actions and projects that are considered categorically exempt. Agency procedures should be updated within 120 days after the CEQA Guidelines are revised. The most recent amendments to the CEQA Guidelines occurred in November 1998 and included specific consideration of historical resources. An agency’s adopted procedures are a public document (14 CCR Section 15022).

Additionally, local governments will often produce materials for distribution to the public explaining the local CEQA process. The OHP strongly recommends the creation of such documents to further aid the public in understanding how CEQA is implemented within each local government’s jurisdiction. Often a local historic preservation ordinance will also come into play in that process. In such instances, the OHP further recommends that the local ordinance procedures be explained in a straightforward public document.