BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2565
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 2565 (Ammiano)
          As Amended  June 17, 2010
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |74-0 |(April 29,      |SENATE: |33-0 |(August 5,     |
          |           |     |2010)           |        |     |2010)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:   NAT. RES.  

           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes public agencies to charge and collect a  
          reasonable fee from members of the public for a copy of an  
          environmental document not to exceed the cost of reproducing the  
          environmental document.  The document may be provided in an  
          electronic format as provided under the Public Records Act.   
          Defines "environmental document" to include an initial study,  
          negative declaration, draft and final environmental impact  
          report (EIR), among others.

           The Senate amendments  change the Assembly version of the bill  
          to:

          1)Authorize a public agency to charge and collect reasonable  
            fees for environmental documents upon request from a member of  
            the public.

          2)Define "environmental document" to include an initial study,  
            negative declaration, draft and final environmental impact  
            report (EIR), among others.

           EXISTING LAW  , pursuant to the California Environmental Quality  
          Act (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.









                                                                  AB 2565
                                                                  Page  2

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill authorized a lead agency to  
          publish on its Web site any documents required under CEQA.   
          Required the lead agency to provide a copy of a CEQA document to  
          any member of the public or a public agency upon request.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, this bill has  
          negligible state costs.

           COMMENTS  :  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 California. For  
          example, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission could  
          reduce roughly 20% of the paper used for EIRs 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  
          to interested and responsible parties.  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 charge and collect reasonable fees in order to  
          cover the cost of providing these documents to interested  
          parties.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :  Jessica Westbrook / NAT. RES. / (916)  
          319-2092 


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