Environmental Papers — California Environmental Quality Act

Richard N. Benson, Assessor - Recorder - County Clerk
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The purpose of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents is to:

  • Disclose to the public the significant environmental effects of a proposed discretionary project, through the preparation of an Initial Study (IS), Negative Declaration (ND), or Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
  • Prevent or minimize damage to the environment through development of project alternatives, mitigation measures, and mitigation monitoring.
  • Disclose to the public the agency decision-making process utilized to approve discretionary projects through findings and statements of overriding consideration.
  • Enhance public participation in the environmental review process through scoping meetings, public notice, public review, hearings, and the judicial process.
  • Improve interagency coordination through early consultations, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, and State Clearinghouse review.

The complete CEQA Statute and Guidelines (California Public Resources Code, Sections 21000 - 21178, and Title 14 CCR, Section 753, and Chapter 3, Sections 15000 - 15387) is available from the California National Resources Agency.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)’s CEQA review and compliance generally occurs at the regional office that serves the county where the project would take place. When a project spans multiple Regions, or would have statewide impacts, the Habitat Conservation Planning Branch, in Sacramento, coordinates CDFW’s CEQA review and compliance. HCPB also administers the CEQA filing fee program. Other branches of CDFW may be responsible for CEQA review and compliance when a project implements or substantially affects a Branch program.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) imposes and collects a filing fee to defray the costs of managing and protecting California’s vast fish and wildlife resources, including, but not limited to, consulting with other public agencies, reviewing environmental documents, recommending mitigation measures, and developing monitoring programs (FGC 711.4). The filing fee will be waived, however, if CDFW determines the project will have no effect on fish and wildlife and issues a No Effect Determination .

The County Clerk’s Office is required to post environmental documents, agendas, notices etc.

CEQA notices or filings are posted for 30 days. Agendas and other notices are also posted for 30 days.

There is a $50 county fee for posting CEQA exemptions, Notices of Determinations and EIRs. Negative, mitigated Negative Declarations and EIRs require an additional fee. You can find the additional fees by going to the Fish and Game website. The fees change January of each year. The County Clerk’s office cannot file Exemptions, Notices of Determinations or EIRs without the proper fee.

There is no fee for agendas, notices of completion, notices of intent or notices to adopt documents or any other general posting.

The County Clerk requires an original and two copies of Exemptions, Notice of Determinations and EIRs. If you need a copy for your file at the time of filing an additional copy or copies must be provided.

For any other posting only two copies are required by the County Clerk. If you want a filed stamped copy you must provide an additional copy or copies.

If you need additional information or have more questions, please contact us. Our office is located at the Marin County Civic Center, 3501 Civic Center Drive room 234, San Rafael, CA 94903. You can also contact a member of the County Clerk staff via phone at (415) 473-6152 or via email. Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed for major holidays). However, due to processing time, licenses and applications are accepted for filing between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.