Effective January 1, 2022, Assembly Bill 819 (AB 819), signed by Governor Newsom earlier this year, imposes expanded requirements on lead agencies when posting CEQA notices and documents.

Under the bill, lead agencies must post the following documents and notices to their websites, if they have one:

DEIRs, negative declarations, mitigated negative declarations, notices of availability, notices of preparation, notices of scoping meetings; notices of determination, notices of exemption, and notices of completion.

Lead agencies must also submit the following documents and notices to the State Clearinghouse online portal:

DEIRs, proposed negative declarations, proposed mitigated negative declarations, and notices of completion.

Additionally, state lead agencies must also submit notices of determination (NOD) and notices of exemption (NOE), if filed, to the State Clearinghouse online portal. Local lead agencies must submit NODs and NOEs to the applicable County Clerk, electronically if possible.

The bill also allows lead agencies to email notices of preparation to trustee and responsible agencies, who may email back their comments, though the use of certified mail is also still permitted in either case.

Lastly, the shortened public comment periods for DEIRs, proposed negative declarations, and proposed mitigated negative declarations available with approval from OPR are no longer available if any state agency is a lead, responsible, or trustee agency or has jurisdiction with respect to the project, even if the state agency would agree to the shortened period.

Key Point: Starting January 1, 2022, many CEQA documents and notices must be submitted electronically to the State Clearinghouse, and others posted to lead agencies’ websites.