BILL NUMBER: AB 1398	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Wilk
   (Principal coauthor: Senator Berryhill)
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Bigelow, Gallagher, and Lackey)

                        FEBRUARY 27, 2015

   An act to add Division 13.6 (commencing with Section 21200) to the
Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1398, as introduced, Wilk. Environmental quality: the
Sustainable Environmental Protection Act.
   The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead
agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify
the completion of, an environmental impact report (EIR) on a project
that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant
effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it
finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires
a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a
project that may have a significant effect on the environment if
revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and
there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would
have a significant effect on the environment.
   Existing law establishes regulations related to numerous
environmental issues.
   This bill would enact the Sustainable Environmental Protection Act
and would specify the environmental review required pursuant to CEQA
for projects related to specified environmental topical areas. In a
judicial action or proceeding filed challenging an action taken by a
lead agency on the ground of noncompliance with CEQA, the bill would
prohibit a cause of action that (1) alleges noncompliance with CEQA
based on any topical area or criteria for which compliance
obligations are identified or (2) challenges the environmental
document based on noncompliance with CEQA if: (A) the environmental
document discloses compliance with applicable environmental law, (B)
the project conforms with the use designation, density, or building
intensity in an applicable plan, as defined, and (C) the project
approval incorporates applicable mitigation requirements into the
environmental document. The bill would provide that the Sustainable
Environmental Protection Act only applies if the lead agency or
project applicant has agreed to provide to the public in a readily
accessible electronic format an annual compliance report prepared
pursuant to the mitigation monitoring and reporting program.
   Because this bill would impose additional duties on local
agencies, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Division 13.6 (commencing with Section 21200) is added
to the Public Resources Code, to read:

      DIVISION 13.6.  SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT


   21200.  This division shall be known and may be cited as the
Sustainable Environmental Protection Act.
   21200.5.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

   (a) The Legislature adopted the California Environmental Quality
Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)) (CEQA) in 1970 in
recognition that the maintenance of a quality environment for the
people of this state is a matter of statewide concern.
   (b) Guidelines implementing CEQA have evolved and expanded, and
currently provide that project impacts be evaluated based on 84
criteria covering the following 17 environmental topical areas:
   (1) Air quality.
   (2) Biological resources, including protected species and habitat
types.
   (3) Cultural resources, including archaeological resources.
   (4) Geology and soils, including seismic and landslide risk.
   (5) Greenhouse gas emissions.
   (6) Hazards and hazardous materials, including toxic chemical
exposures, brownfields or contaminated site issues, and accident
risks.
   (7) Hydrology and water quality, including flooding and sea level
rise.
   (8) Land use planning, including consistency with land use plans.
   (9) Public services, including fire and police protection,
schools, parks, and other public facilities.
   (10) Traffic and transportation, including transit, vehicular,
bicycle, and pedestrian transportation, emergency access, and roadway
safety.
   (11) Utilities and service systems, including wastewater, water
supply, stormwater, landfill, and waste management systems.
   (12) Aesthetics.
   (13) Agriculture and forestry resources.
   (14) Mineral resource availability.
   (15) Noise.
   (16) Population and housing growth.
   (17) Recreational resources.
   (c) In the years before and the 40 years following the enactment
of CEQA, Congress and the Legislature have each adopted more than 100
laws to protect environmental quality in those environmental topical
areas required to be independently mitigated under CEQA described in
subdivision (b). The Legislature has enacted environmental
protection laws that are as or more stringent than federal law, and
California environmental laws are often at the cutting edge of
environmental protection nationally and even globally. These
environmental protection laws, all enacted after 1970, include, but
are not limited to, the following:
   (1) Air quality, including air pollution and toxic air
contaminants: the federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.)
and the federal Acid Precipitation Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 8901
et seq.), and California air quality laws, including Division 26
(commencing with Section 39000) of the Health and Safety Code, the
Protect California Air Act of 2003 (Chapter 4.5 (commencing with
Section 42500) of Part 4 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety
Code), the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment
Program (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 44275) of Part 5 of
Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code), the California Port
Community Air Quality Program (Chapter 9.8 (commencing with Section
44299.80) of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code),
the California Clean Schoolbus Program (Chapter 10 (commencing with
Section 44299.90) of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety
Code), the Air Pollution Permit Streamlining Act of 1992 (Article 1.3
(commencing with Section 42320) of Chapter 4 of Part 4 of Division
26 of the Health and Safety Code), and the California air pollution
control laws, including the Air Toxics "Hot Spots" Information and
Assessment Act of 1987 (Part 6 (commencing with Section 44300) of
Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code), the Atmospheric Acidity
Protection Act of 1988 (Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 39900) of
Part 2 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code), the
Connelly-Areias-Chandler Rice Straw Burning Reduction Act of 1991
(Section 41865 of the Health and Safety Code), and the Lewis-Presley
Air Quality Management Act (Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section
40400) of Part 3 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code).
   (2) Biological resources, including protected species and habitat
types: the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec.
1531 et seq.), the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. Sec.
703 et seq.), the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16
U.S.C. Sec. 668), Section 404(b) of the federal Clean Water Act (33
U.S.C. Sec. 1344(b)), the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act of
1972 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1361 et seq.), the federal Nonindigenous Aquatic
Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 4701 et
seq.), the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing
with Section 2050) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code),
Sections 1602, 3503.5, 3511, 3513, and 4700 of the Fish and Game
Code, the Oak Woodlands Conservation Act (Article 3.5 (commencing
with Section 1360) of Chapter 3 of Division 2 of the Fish and Game
Code), Article 3 (commencing with Section 355) of Chapter 3 of
Division 1 of the Fish and Game Code, Division 5 (commencing with
Section 5000) of the Fish and Game Code, Division 6 (commencing with
Section 5500) of the Fish and Game Code, and subdivision (e) of
Section 65302 of the Government Code.
   (3) Cultural resources, including archaeological resources:
Section 106 of the federal National Historic Preservation Act (16
U.S.C. Sec. 470(f)), the federal American Indian Religious Freedom
Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1996), Section 7050.5 of the Health and Safety
Code, and Section 5097.9.
   (4) Climate change and greenhouse gas emissions: the federal Clean
Air Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 7401 et seq.), the federal Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 17001 et seq.),
the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Division 25.5
(commencing with Section 38500) of the Health and Safety Code),
Division 26 (commencing with Section 39000) of the Health and Safety
Code, the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle
Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007 (Chapter 8.9
(commencing with Section 44270) of Part 5 of Division 26 of the
Health and Safety Code), the California Energy-Efficient Vehicle
Group Purchase Program (Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 43810)
of Chapter 4 of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code),
Section 43018.5 of the Health and Safety Code, and Chapter 728 of
the Statutes of 2008.
   (5) Hazards and hazardous materials, including toxic chemical
exposures, brownfields or contaminated site issues, and chemical
accident risks: the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 9601 et
seq.), the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (42
U.S.C. Sec. 6901 et seq.), the federal Emergency Planning and
Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 11001 et seq.),
the federal Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 13101 et
seq.), the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. Sec. 2701 et
seq.), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7
U.S.C. Sec. 136 et seq.), the federal Toxic Substances Control Act
(15 U.S.C. Sec. 2601 et seq.), the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency
Response Act of 1986 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 2641 et seq.), the federal
Lead-Based Paint Exposure Reduction Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 2681 et
seq.), the federal Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act (42 U.S.C.
Sec. 2121b et seq.), the federal Lead Contamination Control Act of
1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 300j-21 et seq.), the Hazardous Waste Control
Law (Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of
the Health and Safety Code), Chapter 6.7 (commencing with Section
25280) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code, Sections
25356.1.5 and 25395.94 of the Health and Safety Code, Chapter 6.95
(commencing with Section 25500) of Division 20 of the Health and
Safety Code, the Elder California Pipeline Safety Act of 1981
(Chapter 5.5 (commencing with Section 51010) of Part 1 of Division 1
of Title 5 of the Government Code), and the Natural Gas Pipeline
Safety Act of 2011 (Article 2 (commencing with Section 955) of
Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code).
   (6) Hydrology and water quality, including flooding and sea level
rise: the federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1251 et
seq.), the National Contaminated Sediment Assessment and Management
Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 1271 et seq.), the federal Safe Drinking Water
Act (33 U.S.C. Sec. 300f et seq.), Section 1602 of the Fish and Game
Code, the Integrated Regional Water Management Planning Act (Part 2.2
(commencing with Section 10530) of Division 6 of the Water Code),
the Stormwater Resource Planning Act (Part 2.3 (commencing with
Section 10560) of Division 6 of the Water Code), the Porter-Cologne
Water Quality Control Act (Division 7 (commencing with Section 13000)
of the Water Code), the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement
Act of 1986 (Chapter 6.6 (commencing with Section 25249.5) of
Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code), the Urban Water
Management Planning Act (Part 2.6 (commencing with Section 10610) of
Division 6 of the Water Code), Part 2.10 (commencing with Section
10910) of Division 6 of the Water Code, the Water Conservation in
Landscaping Act (Article 10.8 (commencing with Section 65591) of
Chapter 3 of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code), the Storm
Water Enforcement Act of 1998 (Chapter 5.9 (commencing with Section
13399.25) of Division 7 of the Water Code), the Water Recycling Law
(Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 13500) of Division 7 of the Water
Code), Chapter 7.3 (commencing with Section 13560) of Division 7 of
the Water Code, and Part 2.75 (commencing with Section 10750) of
Division 6 of the Water Code.
   (7) Land use planning including consistency with land use plans:
the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1451
et seq.), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43
U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq.), the federal Forest and Rangeland Renewable
Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. Secs. 1600 to 1614, incl.,
and 1641 to 1649, incl.), the National Forest Management Act of 1976
(16 U.S.C. Secs. 1600 and 1611 to 1614, incl.), the Planning and
Zoning Law (Title 7 (commencing with Section 65000) of the Government
Code), the Subdivision Map Act (Division 2 (commencing with Section
66410) of Title 7 of the Government Code), the California Coastal Act
of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of this code),
the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of
2000 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 56000) of Division 3 of Title 5
of the Government Code), the California Green Building Standards
Code (Part 11 of Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), and
the California Building Code (Part 2 of Title 24 of the California
Code of Regulations).
   (8) Public services, including fire and police protection,
schools, parks, solid waste, recycling, and other public facilities:
Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 17921) of Part 1.5 of Division 13
of the Health and Safety Code, Sections 65996, 65997, and 66477 of
the Government Code, Title 7.3 (commencing with Section 66799) of the
Government Code, the Used Oil Recycling Act (Article 9 (commencing
with Section 3460) of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of this code), the
California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act
(Division 12.1 (commencing with Section 14500), Division 12.3
(commencing with Section 16000), Division 12.4 (commencing with
Section 16050), and Division 12.7 (commencing with Section 18000) of
this code), the Fiberglass Recycled Content Act of 1991 (Division
12.9 (commencing with Section 19500) of this code), the California
Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 (Division 30 (commencing with
Section 40000) of this code), the California Fire Code (Part 9 of
Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), and Sections 1270
and 6773 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations
   (9) Traffic and transportation, including transit, vehicular,
bicycle, and pedestrian transportation, emergency access, and roadway
safety: the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (23 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et
seq.), Titles 23 and 49 of the United States Code, and Chapter 2.3
(commencing with Section 65070), Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section
65080), and Chapter 2.8 (commencing with Section 65088) of Division
1 of Title 7 of the Government Code.
   (10) Utilities and service systems, including wastewater, water
supply, stormwater, landfill and waste management systems: Part 2.10
(commencing with Section 10910) of Division 6 of the Water Code, Part
2.55 (commencing with Section 10608) of Division 6 of the Water
Code, the Urban Water Management Planning Act (Part 2.6 (commencing
with Section 10610) of Division 6 of the Water Code), and the Water
Conservation in Landscaping Act (Article 10.8 (commencing with
Section 65591) of Chapter 3 of Division 1 of Title 7 of the
Government Code).
   (11) Aesthetics: the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965
(23 U.S.C. Sec. 131), Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 260) of
Chapter 1 of Division 1 of the Streets and Highways Code, the Outdoor
Advertising Act (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5200) of
Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code), and subdivision (e)
of Section 656302 of the Government Code.
   (12) Agriculture: the federal Soil and Water Conservation Act of
1977 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 2001 et seq.) and the Williamson Act (Chapter 7
(commencing with Section 51200) of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of
the Government Code); and forestry resources: the Z'Berg-Nejedly
Forest Practice Act of 1973 (Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 4511)
of Part 2 of Division 4) and corresponding regulations (Chapter 4
(commencing with Section 895), Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
1115), and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 1600) of Division 1.5
of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations), Protection of
Forest, Range and Forage Lands (Part 2 (commencing with Section 4101)
of Division 4), and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Chapter 1.4
(commencing with Section 5093.50) of Division 5).
   (13) Mineral resources: the federal Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. Sec. 1201 et seq.) and the Surface
Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (Chapter 9 (commencing with
Section 2710) of Division 2).
   (14) Noise: the federal Noise Control Act of 1972 (43 U.S.C. Sec.
4901 et seq.), the federal Aviation Safety and Noise Abatement Act of
1979 (49 U.S.C. Sec. 47501 et seq.), Article 5 (commencing with
Section 65300) of Chapter 3 of Division 1 of Title 7 of the
Government Code, the California Noise Insulation Standards (Part 2 of
Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations), the California
Employee Noise Exposure Limits (Article 105 (commencing with Section
5095) of Group 15 of Subchapter 7 of Chapter 4 of Division 1 of Title
8 of the California Code of Regulations).
   (d) Over the same 40-year period since the enactment of CEQA, the
Legislature has also adopted environmental protection laws affecting
three topical areas for which the United States Congress has not
taken any action to adopt federal environmental law of general
application in California, as follows:
   (1) Geology and soils, including seismic and landslide risk: the
Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act (Chapter 7.5 (commencing
with Section 2621) of Division 2 of this code), the Seismic Hazards
Mapping Act (Chapter 7.8 (commencing with Section 2690) of Division 2
of this code), the California Building Code (Title 24 of the
California Code of Regulations), Chapter 12.2 (commencing with
Section 8875) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code,
subdivision (g) of Section 65302 of the Government Code, and the
Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (Chapter 9 (commencing
with Section 2710) of Division 2 of this code).
   (2) Population and housing growth: Article 10.6 (commencing with
Section 65580) of Chapter 3 of Division 1 of Title 7 of the
Government Code and Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 75120) of
Division 43.
   (3) Recreational resources: Section 66477 of the Government Code
and the Public Park Preservation Act of 1971 (Chapter 2.5 (commencing
with Section 5400) of Division 5 of this code).
   (e) When enacting CEQA and subsequent amendments, the Legislature
declared its intent to ensure that all public agencies give major
consideration to preventing environmental damage, while providing a
decent home and satisfying living environment for every Californian
and to create and maintain conditions under which humankind and
nature can exist in productive harmony to fulfill the social and
economic requirements of present and future generations.
   (f) Environmental laws, including implementing plans, programs,
regulations, and permit requirements that have been adopted since the
1970 enactment of CEQA, are designed to ensure California continues
as a national and international leader in protecting the environment,
health, safety, and welfare of California and those within its
borders.
   (1) At the local level, the California Constitution and California
law require cities, counties, and cities and counties to adopt land
use plans in order to develop and implement an orderly planning
process for protecting and enhancing the quality of the community and
the environment while providing for jobs, revenues, recreational and
other services, housing, and other community needs.
   (2) Pursuant to Chapter 728 of the Statutes of 2008, metropolitan
planning organizations (MPOs) are directed to prepare sustainable
communities strategies (SCSs) to reduce regional greenhouse gas
emissions from the land use and transportation sector. Additionally,
many cities and counties have adopted, or are in the process of
adopting, land use plans such as general plan updates, zoning code
revisions, specific plans, community plans, and area plans to
encourage both renewable energy production and higher density,
transit-oriented development patterns.
   (3) In response to the challenges of climate change and in
furtherance of energy independence and security, the Legislature has
established significant new mandates for the development and use of
renewable energy and higher density development patterns that promote
transit utilization and conserve water and energy resources.
   (4) With recent mandates and policies encouraging denser
development patterns to promote transit, energy and water efficiency,
job and housing growth is prioritized in areas that are already well
populated and include urbanized conditions such as regional freeway
congestion and local roadway congestion, and neighborhood-scale
challenges such as parking and evolving aesthetic values. By
directing growth into higher density, transit-oriented development
patterns, SCS and local land use plan and zoning code adoption and
implementation generally cause significant unavoidable
density-related adverse environmental impacts under CEQA, such as
traffic and parking and related air quality emissions. Additionally,
infrastructure and services in many urbanized areas are challenged
and require upgrades that are beyond the fiscal ability or
jurisdictional authority, or both, of a city or county, resulting in
findings of additional significant unavoidable impacts for CEQA
purposes. Impacts from higher density development land use plans and
zoning code revisions (urbanization impacts) are evaluated and in
many instances approved by decisionmakers as an appropriate policy
decision based on climate, energy security, agricultural or
open-space preservation, or other inherent policy choices that are
informed by the EIR's environmental analysis and public disclosure
process.
   (g) Environmental laws and regulations identify compliance
obligations that apply uniformly to similarly situated projects and
activities, and provide critical environmental protections that go
well beyond the ad hoc review process created by CEQA. Environmental
laws and regulations identify compliance obligations of general
applicability and thereby provide greater clarity than the
project-by-project ad hoc review process that was created for CEQA in
1970.
   (h) CEQA requires a public and environmental review process for
the review and adoption of land use plans and zoning code revisions,
including requirements to avoid or minimize the significant
environmental impacts of land use plan and zoning code
implementation. For plan or zoning code changes for which an
environmental impact report (EIR) was prepared and certified, CEQA
mandates inclusion of mitigation measures and alternatives to avoid
or minimize significant unavoidable impacts.
   (i) The court, in Friends of Westwood v. City of Los Angeles
(1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 259, determined that the CEQA process is
required even for projects that complied with the density, use type,
and intensity restrictions in applicable land use plans and the
zoning code.
   (j) Applying CEQA's existing requirements at a project-specific
level can often undermine the policy goals and objectives of
applicable land use plans. A project that brings higher density to an
area, with corresponding jobs, revenues, or housing, also brings
traffic and parking demands, with associated air quality and other
impacts, as well as a host of other urbanized effects as disclosed in
the land use plan EIR. Where urbanized effects have been mitigated
on the plan level to the extent feasible, the reanalysis of these
impacts at the project level can be problematic.
   (k) Duplicative CEQA review of projects that comply with the
density, use type, and intensity requirements of land use plans that
have already undergone an EIR process was not intended by the
Legislature and creates unacceptable delays and uncertainties in the
plan implementation process. Avoidance of duplicative review will
reduce litigation and the considerable political uncertainty that has
resulted for communities and project proponents who attempt to
implement land use plans, notwithstanding previously disclosed
significant unavoidable urbanized impacts.
   (l) Development of projects consistent with the density, use type,
and intensity requirements of land use plans should be encouraged by
avoiding duplicative environmental review of those projects if
project approval is conditioned on implementing applicable mitigation
measures included in the EIR prepared for the applicable land use
plans.
   (m) Public agencies are subject to public notice and disclosure
requirements when approving projects, including the Ralph M. Brown
Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division
2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) and the Bagley-Keene Open
Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1
of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), and are
also authorized to require comprehensive project applications and to
condition project approvals under their police powers and other laws,
not including CEQA.
   (n) Public agencies are encouraged to create and maintain
electronic records where feasible to reduce paperwork and increase
efficiency. The prompt commencement and resolution of litigation
filed under this division and CEQA is dependent upon the prompt
availability of the respondent public agency's record of proceedings
for the challenged agency action. There are no practical means by
which records of proceedings which are predominantly maintained in
electronic format can be readily accessed, organized, and produced by
any party other than the respondent public agency. Where all or most
of the respondent agency's record of proceeding is maintained by the
respondent agency or its designee in an electronic format, timely
production of the record of proceedings requires that the record be
prepared by the respondent agency.
   (o) In enacting this division, it is the intent of the Legislature
to further the purposes of CEQA by integrating environmental and
planning laws and regulations adopted over the last 40 years, while
avoiding the sometimes conflicting and often duplicative ad hoc
environmental review and mitigation requirements under CEQA.
   (p) In enacting this division, it is also the intent of the
Legislature to continue to foster public disclosure and informed
public participation of the environmental consequences of projects.
   (q) In enacting this division, it is the intent of the Legislature
to preserve the authority of a lead agency, consistent with the
jurisdiction and authority of that agency, to disapprove projects or
to condition approvals of projects on terms that may require more
stringent environmental protections or project approval conditions
than those required by applicable environmental or planning laws.
   21201.  For the purposes of this division, the following
definitions shall apply:
   (a) "Applicable environmental law" is a law related to an
environmental topical area listed in subdivision (b) of Section
21200.5 that is relevant to a project and that does any of the
following:
   (1) Includes a policy determination, or directs or authorizes the
adoption by an implementing agency of regulations, plans, or permits,
licenses, or authorization applications and approval processing
procedures and practices to implement that policy determination,
regarding a standard applicable to a topical area requiring analysis
and mitigation under CEQA.
   (2) Identifies quantitative and qualitative analytical methods or
approaches, or directs or authorizes the adoption by an implementing
agency of regulations, plans, or permits, licenses, or authorization
applications and approval processing procedures and practices that
include those analytical methods or approaches, regarding a standard.

   (3) Identifies required or permissible practices for mitigating or
minimizing adverse impacts to a topical area requiring analysis and
mitigation under CEQA, or directs or authorizes the adoption by an
implementing agency of regulations or plans, or directs or authorizes
an implementing agency to review and approve permits, licenses, or
authorization applications that include avoidance, minimization,
mitigation, conditions or other requirements to achieve a standard
applicable to a topical area requiring analysis and mitigation under
CEQA.
   (b) "Applicable plan" means a planning document for which an
environmental impact report, supplemental environmental impact
report, or environmental impact report addendum was certified,
including either of the following:
                                                 (1) A land use plan,
such as a general plan, specific plan, or sustainable communities
strategies adopted by a city, county, city and county, metropolitan
planning organization, or other local, regional, or state agency that
establishes use designations, densities, and building intensities.
   (2) A plan to improve or maintain public facilities or
infrastructure to be funded in whole or in part by public funds and
which has been adopted by a local, regional, or state agency.
   (c) "Applicable mitigation requirements" means all mitigation
measures included in an applicable plan with the exception of
mitigation measures the lead agency determines, based on substantial
evidence, are not required to mitigate a potentially significant
impact of a proposed project.
   (d) "CEQA" means the California Environmental Quality Act
(Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).
   (e) "Implementing agency" means any state or federal agency,
board, or commission, any county, city and county, city, regional
agency, public district, or other political subdivision.
   (f) "Standard" means a quantitative or qualitative level of
protection, preservation, enhancement, pollution, reduction,
avoidance, or other measure for a topical area requiring analysis and
mitigation under CEQA.
   21202.  (a) An environmental document prepared pursuant to CEQA
shall disclose all applicable environmental laws.
   (1) An environmental document prepared pursuant to CEQA and that
discloses an applicable environmental law described in paragraph (1)
of subdivision (a) of Section 21201 shall disclose the applicable
compliance requirements of that law, and compliance with the
applicable standards for impacts that occur or might occur as a
result of approval of the project shall be the exclusive means of
evaluating and mitigating environmental impacts under CEQA regarding
the subject of that law, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
   (2) An environmental document prepared pursuant to CEQA and that
discloses an applicable environmental law described in paragraph (2)
of subdivision (a) of Section 21201 shall disclose the applicable
analytical methods or approaches, and the disclosure of those
analytical methods or approaches shall be the exclusive means of
evaluating potential project impacts under CEQA regarding the
relevant law, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
   (3) An environmental document prepared pursuant to CEQA and that
discloses an applicable environmental law described in paragraph (3)
of subdivision (a) of Section 21201 shall disclose the applicable
mitigation and minimization methods or approaches typically used by
implementing agencies as part of their review and approval or
permits, licenses, or authorization applications, and compliance with
mitigation and minimization practices shall be the exclusive means
of mitigating environmental impacts under CEQA regarding the subject
of the relevant law, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
   (b) The disclosure obligations set forth in this section are
intended to foster informed environmental review and public
participation in the environmental and public review process required
by CEQA or other applicable laws and regulations, such as the Ralph
M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of
Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code) and the Bagley-Keene
Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of
Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

   21203.  (a) A cause of action shall not be alleged in an action or
proceeding brought and maintained pursuant to Section 21167 for
noncompliance with CEQA under either of the following circumstances:
   (1) If the cause of action relates to an environmental topical
area listed in subdivision (b) of Section 21200.5 and the
environmental document discloses compliance with any applicable
environmental law pertaining to a topical area or any regulation,
plan, permit, license, or authorization application and approval
processing procedures adopted by an implementing agency as directed
or authorized by that applicable environmental law.
   (2) If the environmental document for the project discloses
compliance with applicable environmental law pertaining to a topical
area or any regulation, plan, permit, license, or authorization
application and approval processing procedures adopted by an
implementing agency as directed or authorized by that applicable
environmental law; the project conforms to the use designation,
density, or building intensity in a land use plan or was included in
any other applicable plan identified in subdivision (b) of Section
21201; and the lead agency incorporates applicable mitigation
requirements included in the certified environmental impact report,
supplemental environmental impact report, or environmental impact
report addendum prepared for the applicable plan into the
environmental document prepared for the project.
   (b) This section does not prohibit the allegation of a cause of
action that is otherwise authorized by law to enforce compliance with
any other existing local, state, and federal law, regulation, or
applicable plan.
   21204.  (a) Except for projects with potentially significant
aesthetic impacts on an official state scenic highway established
pursuant to section 262 of the Streets and Highways Code, a lead
agency shall not be required to evaluate aesthetics pursuant to CEQA
or this division, and the lead agency shall not be required to make
findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 21081 on or relating
to aesthetic impacts.
   (b) This section does not change the authority of a lead agency to
consider aesthetic issues and to require mitigation or avoidance of
adverse aesthetic impacts pursuant to discretionary powers provided
by laws other than CEQA or this division.
   21204.5.  This division does not modify any of the following
obligations:
   (a) Evaluation of the potential for a project to effect tribal
cultural resources, as defined in Section 21074.
   (b) Compliance with Sections 5097.98, 21080.3.1, and 21080.3.2,
including the obligation to discuss and confer with the appropriate
California Native American tribes, as defined in Section 21073.
   (c) Avoidance, mitigation, and minimization of adverse impacts to
tribal cultural resources pursuant to Section 21084.3.
   21205.  This division applies only to projects for which the lead
agency or applicant has agreed to provide to the public in a readily
accessible electronic format an annual compliance report prepared
pursuant to the mitigation monitoring and reporting program required
by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 21081.6.
   21206.  This division does not preclude any state agency, board,
or commission, or any city, county, city and county, regional agency,
public district, redevelopment agency, or other political
subdivision from requiring information or analysis of the project
under consideration, or imposing conditions of approval for that
project, under laws and regulations other than this division and
CEQA.
   21207.  (a) An environmental document, prepared pursuant to CEQA,
shall be required to consider only those environmental topical areas
listed in subdivision (b) of Section 21200.5 and only to the extent
those environmental topical areas are relevant to the project.
   (b) Subdivision (b) of Section 21200.5 is not intended to affirm,
reject, or otherwise affect court decisions concerning the
consistency of the guidelines provisions within the provisions of
CEQA.
   (c) This section does not preclude a lead agency from modifying or
updating its analytical methodologies for those topical areas.
  SEC. 2.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a
local agency or school district has the authority to levy service
charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or
level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section
17556 of the Government Code.