Senate Bill 834 Proposes CEQA Exemption for Existing Manufacturing Facility Operations

California Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, introduced new urgency legislation relating to the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"). Senate Bill 834 proposes to add section 21080.38 to the Public Resources Code exempting the retooling or alteration of existing manufacturing facilities from CEQA requirements.

CEQA requires lead agencies to certify an environmental impact report for projects or activities that could have a significant environmental effect. Where a lead agency concludes a project will not have an impact on the environment, it may adopt a negative declaration. If a lead agency finds an environmental impact, but determines it may be avoided or reduced to insignificant through mitigation measures, it may adopt a mitigated negative declaration.

SB 834 would exempt from this environmental review process a project or activity that involves a manufacturing plant that proposes to retool or alter its facility while remaining within the plant's existing footprint. The bill requires the lead agency to make the determination on the applicability of the exemption for the proposed project or activity. The full text of the bill may be found here.

We will continue to monitor this bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.

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