BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2565
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  April 12, 2010

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
                                Wesley Chesbro, Chair
                    AB 2565 (Ammiano) - As Amended:  April 5, 2010
           
          SUBJECT  :  CEQA: lead agency:  documents.

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes a lead agency to publish on its website any  
          documents required under the California Environmental Quality  
          Act (CEQA).  Requires the lead agency to provide a copy of a  
          CEQA document to any member of the public or a public agency  
          upon request.

           EXISTING LAW  , CEQA, requires lead agencies with the principal  
          responsibility for carrying out or approving a proposed project  
          to prepare a negative declaration, mitigated negative  
          declaration, or environmental impact report for this action,  
          unless the project is exempt from CEQA.  CEQA requires lead  
          agencies to make these documents, and other documents, including  
          notices, comments, and responses, available to the public,  
          including specified individuals and agencies, such as residents  
          adjacent to a proposed project, and the State Clearinghouse for  
          projects reviewed by state agencies, and provide documents  
          directly to individuals upon request.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Purpose of the bill.   According to the author:

            While hardcopies of CEQA documents are certainly necessary for  
            Planning Departments to review and mark-up documents, as well  
            as for members of the public who do not have access to a  
            computer, under some circumstances, digital copies of CEQA  
            documents would be appropriate to save paper and the cost of  
            implementing CEQA reporting. The San Francisco Planning  
            Department processed 41 Major/Area Environmental Impact  
            Reports in 2009. 

            There are more than 300 city planning agencies throughout  
            California reviewing environmental impact reports every year.  
            Allowing a portion of CEQA reports to be administered  
            digitally would eliminate significant paper waste in  








                                                                  AB 2565
                                                                  Page  2

            California. For example, the San Francisco Public Utilities  
            Commission could reduce roughly 20% of the paper used for  
            environmental impact reports by submitting digital copies in  
            lieu of hardcopies. 

            This legislation provides the option for lead agencies  
            required to comply with CEQA regulation to make CEQA documents  
            available on the agency's website of through other digital  
            formats (compact discs, e-mail attachments, or other digital  
            transfers) to interested and responsible parties.  

           2)Clarification of existing law?   

            Publication of documents via website, email, and other digital  
            media is recognized currently under CEQA statute and  
            guidelines.  CEQA does not specifically require lead agencies  
            to produce an unreasonable number of paper documents.  This  
            bill clarifies that lead agencies may offer digital documents,  
            while retaining the public's right to receive paper documents  
            upon request, which seems consistent with CEQA and a  
            reasonable approach to avoid wasteful and/or burdensome  
            printing obligations.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (sponsor)
          Association of California Water Agencies
          Bay Area Air Quality Management District
          California Association of Sanitation Agencies
          East Bay Municipal Utility District
          Regional Council of Rural Counties

           Opposition 
           
          None on file

           
          Analysis Prepared by  :  Lawrence Lingbloom / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092