California Environmental Insights Dec. 2017, Industry Updates

December 28, 2017

Proposed Bill to Expedite Permit Processing for Emergency Projects













Senate Bill (SB) 594 would require a California State agency to issue or deny a permit within 90
days for an eligible project that 1) will maintain or improve human life safety protection by
reducing flood and dam failure risks, and 2) has complied with CEQA. An eligible project must meet
one of the following objectives:

• Reduce flood risk by repairing, reconstructing, or retrofitting Oroville Dam or its appurtenant structures;
• Reduce flood risk in a watershed that has experienced flooding within the last 10 years resulting
in cumulative losses exceeding $50 million;
• Reduce flood risk through seismic retrofit or repair of a dam;
• Remove flood risk to life and property from a dam; or
• Reduce risk of tidal flooding.

The regulation would require all State agencies to expedite permits for eligible projects as follows:

• Within 30 days after a State agency receives a written request to approve a permit pursuant to
this section, the State agency shall determine whether substantial evidence exists that the project
satisfies requirements listed above.
• If the project is determined to be eligible, the State Agency must commence expedited permitting
and approve or deny a permit it is responsible for within 60 days.
• To the maximum extent possible, requires mitigation measures listed in the permit to be
consistent with the final CEQA document.

SB 594 can be read at:

GEI Contact: Cindy Davis,


Cultural Resources Regulatory Updates – Public Resources Code 5024 and 5024.5



Many of GEI’s clients may be familiar with common compliance regulations, such as CEQA, NEPA, and
even Section 106, that address cultural resources. However, Public Resources Code (PRC) 5024 and
5024.5 require additional analyses for State-owned properties. PRC 5024 establishes a Master List
of State-owned properties that meet criteria for the National Register of Historic Places or California
Historical Landmarks, and requires California State agencies to annually update the Master List when
their properties meet the eligibility criteria.

More pertinent for our State agency clients is PRC 5024.5. Under 5024.5, early in the planning
process, all State agencies must notify the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) of a
proposed project that may affect historical resources. Subsequently, the agencies must submit
analysis documentation to SHPO for any project having the potential to affect State-owned
historical resources on or eligible for inclusion in the Master List. This can include, but is not
limited to: buildings, structures, landscapes, archaeological sites, and other non-structural
resources. If resources were not considered for their ability to meet the criteria previously, they
must be assessed at that point for their ability to meet the criteria prior to the affects
analysis. State agencies must also request SHPO’s comments on the project. If the proposed project
would cause adverse effects to a State-owned historical resource, the State agency and SHPO must
work to find “prudent and feasible measures that will eliminate or mitigate the adverse effects.”

GEI Contact: Mark Bowen,