Legal Alerts Sep 02, 2020

New Filing Requirements for CEQA Documents

Significant Changes Begin Nov. 3

New Filing Requirements for CEQA Documents

The California Office of Planning and Research, State Clearinghouse Unit, has adopted new rules for accepting environmental documents for posting. Beginning Nov. 3, OPR will no longer accept hard copies of environmental documents, including notices of determinations and exemptions. Additionally, OPR will not accept email submission of notices at Instead, all agencies will be required to submit California Environmental Quality Act documents and notices online through the CEQA Net Database. The CEQA Net Database is available now for those who wish to start submitting documents using the new format.

Several provisions of CEQA require that documents, such as environmental impact reports and mitigated negative declarations, be submitted to OPR in certain circumstances as part of the CEQA noticing process. For example, EIRs and MNDs must be submitted to OPR if a state agency is a responsible agency or a trustee agency, where state agencies must review the project, or if the project has statewide, regional or area wide significance. To submit environmental documents to OPR after Nov. 3, you must register with OPR by sending an email request to with the following applicable information:

Lead Agency Registration:

  • Lead agency representative name (person submitting CEQA documents) and work email
  • If a lead agency authorizes a consultant or consulting firm to submit CEQA documents on their behalf, the following information is needed: Representative name (person authorizing consultant at consulting firm) and their work email and telephone and fax numbers.

Consulting Firm/Consultant Registration:

  • Consultant name and email
  • A lead agency must approve the request for the consulting firm or consultant. The consulting firm must identify the lead agency representative authorizing the consulting firm/consultant available and that person’s work email address, physical address and telephone and fax numbers.
  • If there are other people in the consulting firm that need access to file environmental documents, they should be identified as well as the lead agency’s approval information noted above.

Responsible Agency Representative Registration:

  • Responsible agency representative name (person submitting CEQA documents)
  • Official work email

If you are not the lead agency or responsible agency representative, your submission must be approved by the lead agency or responsible agency’s representative before the document will be accepted by OPR. You will need to provide the representative’s name, work address, work email address and telephone and fax numbers when submitting your notice on the CEQA Net Database.

Once registered as an official user, you may submit documents at the following website address:

OPR has created a document entitled “Register and Submit CEQA Documents to Office of Planning and Research (OPR), State Clearinghouse (SCH).” Once you are registered, you should familiarize yourself with the CEQA Database Terms of Use. For complete instructions on how to register and submit documents to the CEQA Database, scroll to the bottom of this page: CEQA Document Submission - Office of Planning and Research.

Registered users may begin submitting environmental documents and notices immediately under the new system. We recommend that you register early and become familiar with the new submittal guidelines and database.

Disclaimer: BB&K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.

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