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Californias Amended CEQA Guidelines Mandate Analysis of GHG Emissions, While Preserving Lead Agencies Discretion

Background

On March 18, 2010, the amendments (the Amendments) to the States guidelines (CEQA Guidelines) implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), adopted by the California Natural Resources Agency (the Resources Agency) on December 30, 2009, will become effective. As required by SB 97, the Amendments primarily address the analysis of a projects greenhouse gas (GHG) emission impacts under CEQA. Concurrent with its adoption of the Amendments, the Resources Agency issued its Final Statement of Reasons for Regulatory Action (Statement of Reasons), which explains in detail the intent of and the necessity for the Amendments, and why the Agency chose to adopt the approach to GHG analyses that is embodied in the Amendments.

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