On January 3, 2019 the Natural Resources Agency (“Agency”) announced that the long awaited comprehensive amendments to the CEQA Guidelines are now in effect. The last major update to the Guidelines was in the late 1990s. As a result, the Agency and the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) had a significant amount of material to synthesize in preparing these amendments, including several legislative changes and over two decades of CEQA case law.
The amendments include two new sections and revisions to 29 existing sections and three appendices. Many of the revisions merely reflect holdings from previous case law and will not generate new requirements in preparing CEQA documents. Some revisions, however, do constitute substantive changes in impact analysis and it will be important for public agency staff, environmental consultants, and attorneys to review these amendments carefully. To access a complete copy of the revised CEQA Guidelines click here.