Environmental planning is essential for a sustainable future. At
SCAG, environmental planning involves establishing programs
and policies that encourage environmentally conscious
transportation and land use patterns that protect the region’s
environmental resources. SCAG’s California Environmental Quality
Act (CEQA) Program focuses on preparing environmental
documentation to ensure regulatory compliance with applicable
environmental laws for all of SCAG’s plans and programs.
Most notably, SCAG serves as the lead agency responsible for
preparing the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable
Communities Plan (RTP/SCS) Program Environmental Impact Report
(PEIR) and addenda, and ensures completion of environmental
documentation, such as Categorical Exemptions, for SCAG’s
existing programs. Staff works closely with local and regional
agencies and stakeholders and conducts consultation and public
outreach during the preparation of environmental documentation.
The CEQA program also monitors changes in environmental
compliance requirements, and provides tools and services related
to CEQA and CEQA streamlining efforts, such as SB 375 and SB 743,
to support local jurisdictions in taking advantage of existing
CEQA streamlining opportunities and to provide a forum for
regional dialogue on important environmental related topics.
Connect SoCal PEIR
Every four years, SCAG prepares a PEIR for the RTP/SCS in
accordance with CEQA. The PEIR serves as a programmatic document
that conducts a region-wide assessment of potential significant
environmental effects of the RTP/SCS.
Learn more about the PEIR for the upcoming RTP/SCS, referred to
as Connect SoCal 2024 PEIR here.
CEQA Streamlining Efforts
CEQA has provisions and tools that streamline the environmental
review process for qualifying housing projects. These are often
narrow, include many exceptions, and can be confusing for both
local jurisdictions and developers. Although SCAG has no land-use
authority and does not implement nor approve housing
developments, Connect SoCal does provide pathways to streamline
CEQA review for housing developments that qualify as Transit
Priority Projects (TPPs) or Residential/Mixed-Use Projects (as
defined in SB 375). Furthermore, SB 743 and SB 226 provide
additional CEQA streamlining provisions for certain projects
(e.g., projects in transit priority areas and infill development
Development Streamlining Guidance Materials
In response to the results from the Development Streamlining
Questionnaire, and as part of our efforts to accelerate housing
production, SCAG has prepared a series of guidance materials. The
guidance material topics were carefully selected based on
feedback and include a combination of streamlining options or
exemptions under CEQA and other state laws. To view and learn
more about the guidance materials, please visit the Development Streamlining Efforts page.
SCAG will also be hosting a series of virtual workshops and
office hours to review these guidance materials in Spring 2023.
These workshops are an opportunity to stay involved and share
your thoughts and questions on the materials. Details regarding
these events will be posted soon.
For further questions or comments regarding the ongoing
Development Streamlining Efforts, please contact Nashia Lalani at
Submit CEQA Notices
Section 15206 defines projects of statewide, regional, or
areawide significance and instructs public agencies to submit
environmental documents, including Negative Declarations and
Draft Environmental Impact Reports (DEIRs), to the State
Clearinghouse and the appropriate metropolitan area council of
governments for review and comment.
To learn more about the IGR Program, please visit the IGR webpage.
Site Check is a free, online, interactive tool, funded by the
California Housing and Community Development Department as part
of the technical assistance for Senate Bill 2, the Building Homes
and Jobs Act, which may be used to identify streamlining options
under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that may
apply to facilitate planning decisions that accelerate the
production of housing in California.
Users can search and filter parcels to determine whether they
meet certain requirements in specific CEQA provisions for a
variety of housing types. Site Check will provide a downloadable
report which will identify the accelerated pathways to CEQA
compliance that may apply based on the parcel(s) selected,
providing a helpful starting point and guide users to the
appropriate provisions within CEQA.