In order to achieve the objectives set forth in Section 21002, the Legislature hereby finds and declares that the following policy shall apply to the use of environmental impact reports prepared pursuant to this division:
(a) The purpose of an environmental impact report is to identify the significant effects on the environment of a project, to identify alternatives to the project, and to indicate the manner in which those significant effects can be mitigated or avoided.
(b) Each public agency shall mitigate or avoid the significant effects on the environment of projects that it carries out or approves whenever it is feasible to do so.
(c) If economic, social, or other conditions make it infeasible to mitigate one or more significant effects on the environment of a project, the project may nonetheless be carried out or approved at the discretion of a public agency if the project is otherwise permissible under applicable laws and regulations.
(d) In applying the policies of subdivisions (b) and (c) to individual projects, the responsibility of the lead agency shall differ from that of a responsible agency. The lead agency shall be responsible for considering the effects, both individual and collective, of all activities involved in a project. A responsible agency shall be responsible for considering only the effects of those activities involved in a project which it is required by law to carry out or approve. This subdivision applies only to decisions by a public agency to carry out or approve a project and does not otherwise affect the scope of the comments that the public agency may wish to make pursuant to Section 21104 or 21153.
(e) To provide more meaningful public disclosure, reduce the time and cost required to prepare an environmental impact report, and focus on potentially significant effects on the environment of a proposed project, lead agencies shall, in accordance with Section 21100, focus the discussion in the environmental impact report on those potential effects on the environment of a proposed project which the lead agency has determined are or may be significant. Lead agencies may limit discussion on other effects to a brief explanation as to why those effects are not potentially significant.
(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1230, Sec. 1. Effective September 30, 1994.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018