2009 California Public Resources Code - Section 71020-71029 :: Chapter 3. Consolidated PermitsPUBLIC RESOURCES CODE
71020. (a) On or before January 1, 1995, the secretary shall establish an administrative process which may be used, at the request of a permit applicant for a project pursuant to Section 71021, for the designation of a consolidated permit agency for the project. (b) That administrative process shall consist of the establishment of guidelines for designating the consolidated permit agency for the project. The guidelines shall be adopted as regulations pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. In those cases where an environmental agency is the lead agency for purposes of Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code, or Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000), that environmental agency shall be the consolidated permit agency. In other cases, the guidelines shall require that at least the following factors be considered in determining which environmental agency has the greatest overall jurisdiction over the project: (1) The types of facilities or activities that make up the project. (2) The types of public health and safety and environmental concerns that should be considered in issuing environmental permits for the project. (3) The environmental medium that may be affected by the project, the extent of those potential effects, and the environmental protection measures that may be taken to prevent the occurrence of, or to mitigate, those potential effects. (4) The regulatory activity that is of greatest importance in preventing or mitigating the effects that the project may have on public health and safety or the environment. (5) The statutory and regulatory requirements that apply to the project and the complexity of those requirements. (c) The secretary shall also establish a procedure for referring projects to the council for the designation of a consolidated permit agency in any of the following circumstances: (1) Because of the nature of the project, the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) do not provide clear guidance concerning which environmental agency should be designated the consolidated permit agency. (2) The consolidated permit agency or a participating permit agency disagrees with the designation of the consolidated permit agency. (3) The environmental agency designated as the consolidated permit agency under the guidelines declines the designation and participating permit agencies are not willing to accept designation as the consolidated permit agency. 71021. (a) A permit applicant for a project may request the secretary to designate a consolidated permit agency to administer the processing and issuance of a consolidated permit for the project pursuant to this division. The secretary, in accordance with the guidelines and procedures adopted pursuant to Section 71020, shall, within 30 days of the date that the request is received, either designate a consolidated permit agency for the project or refer the designation to the council. (b) A permit applicant who requests the designation of a consolidated permit agency shall provide the secretary with a description of the project, a preliminary list of the environmental permits that the project may require, the identity of any public agency that has been designated the lead agency for the project pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code or Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code, and the identity of the participating permit agencies. The secretary may request any information from the permit applicant that is necessary to make the designation under subdivision (a), and may convene a scoping meeting of the likely consolidated permit agency and participating permit agencies in order to make that designation. (c) The consolidated permit agency shall serve as the main point of contact for the permit applicant with regard to the processing of the consolidated permit for the project and shall manage the procedural aspects of that processing consistent with existing laws governing the consolidated permit agency and participating permit agencies, and with the procedures agreed to by those agencies in accordance with Section 71022. In carrying out these responsibilities, the consolidated permit agency shall ensure that the permit applicant has all the information needed to apply for all the component environmental permits that are incorporated in the consolidated permit for the project, coordinate the review of those environmental permits by the respective participating permit agencies, ensure that timely environmental permit decisions are made by the participating permit agencies, and assist in resolving any conflict or inconsistency among the environmental permit requirements and conditions that are to be imposed by the participating permit agencies with regard to the project. (d) This division shall not be construed to limit or abridge the powers and duties granted to a participating permit agency pursuant to the law that authorizes or requires the agency to issue an environmental permit for a project. Each participating permit agency shall retain its authority to make all decisions on all nonprocedural matters with regard to the respective component environmental permit that is within its scope of its responsibility, including, but not limited to, the determination of environmental permit application completeness, environmental permit approval or approval with conditions, or environmental permit denial. The consolidated permit agency may not substitute its judgment for that of a participating permit agency on any such nonprocedural matters. 71022. (a) Within 15 working days of the date that the consolidated permit agency is designated, the consolidated permit agency shall convene a meeting with the permit applicant for the project and the participating permit agencies. The meeting agenda shall include at least all of the following matters: (1) A determination of the environmental permits that are required for the project. (2) A review of the environmental permit application forms and other application requirements of the agencies that are participating in the consolidated permit. (3) A discussion of the option available to the permit applicant to use the consolidated permit application form that is authorized by subdivision (e) or (f) of Section 15399.56 of the Government Code in lieu of the separate application forms for each component environmental permit that would be provided by the consolidated permit agency and the participating permit agencies. (4) A determination of the time lines that will be used by the consolidated permit agency and each participating permit agency to make environmental permit decisions, including the time periods required to determine if the environmental permit applications are complete or the consolidated permit application is complete, to review the application or applications, and to process the component environmental permits, and the timelines that will be used by the consolidated permit agency to aggregate the component environmental permits into, and to issue, the consolidated permit. Notwithstanding Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 15374) of Part 6.7 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 65920) of Division 1 of Title 7 of the Government Code, the timelines established pursuant to this paragraph may, with the assent of the consolidated permit agency and each participating permit agency, commit the consolidated permit agency and each participating permit agency to act on the component environmental permit within time periods that are different than those required by Sections 65950 and 65952 of the Government Code, subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 15376 of the Government Code, or other applicable provisions of law. However, no accelerated time period for the consideration of an environmental permit application may be set if that accelerated time period would be inconsistent with, or in conflict with, any time period or series of time periods set by statute for that consideration, or with any statute, rule, or regulation, or adopted state policy, standard, or guideline, which require any of the following: (A) Other agencies, interested persons, or the public to be given adequate notice of the application. (B) Other agencies to be given a role in, or be allowed to participate in, the decision to approve or disapprove the application. (C) Interested persons or the public to be provided the opportunity to challenge, comment on, or otherwise voice their concerns regarding the application. (5) The scheduling of any public hearings that are required to issue environmental permits for the project and a determination of the feasibility of coordinating or consolidating any of those required public hearings. (6) A discussion of fee arrangements for the consolidated permit process, including an estimate of the fee required under Section 71026 and the billing schedule. (b) The consolidated permit agency may request any information from the applicant that is necessary to comply with its obligations under this section, consistent with the timelines set pursuant to this section. (c) A summary of the decisions made pursuant to this section shall be made available for public review upon the filing of the consolidated environmental permit application or environmental permit applications. 71023. (a) The permit applicant may withdraw from the consolidated permit process by submitting to the consolidated permit agency a written request that the process be terminated. Upon receipt of the request, the consolidated permit agency shall notify the secretary and each participating permit agency that a consolidated permit is no longer applicable to the project. (b) The permit applicant may submit a written request to the consolidated permit agency that the permit applicant wishes a participating permit agency to withdraw from participation on the basis of a reasonable belief that the issuance of the consolidated permit would be accelerated if the participating permit agency withdraws. In that event, the participating permit agency shall withdraw from participation if the consolidated permit agency approves the request. 71024. The consolidated permit agency shall ensure that the participating permit agencies make all the environmental permit decisions that are necessary for the incorporation of the environmental permits into the consolidated permit and act on the component environmental permits within the time periods established pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 71022. 71025. Each environmental permit incorporated in the consolidated permit shall have the legal status and the regulatory effect that is specified in the statute and regulations under which the environmental permit would be separately issued and shall be administered and enforced by the environmental agency that would have separately issued it. 71026. (a) A consolidated permit agency may charge and collect a reasonable fee from any person seeking a consolidated permit to recover the estimated costs incurred by the consolidated permit agency in carrying out the requirements of this division. (b) The fees charged shall recover only the costs of performing those consolidated permit services and shall be either negotiated with the permit applicant in the meeting required pursuant to Section 71022, or shall be set by the environmental agency in advance of its designation as a consolidated permit agency for the project in a fee schedule adopted by the environmental agency for use in the event that the environmental agency is so designated. In addition, the billing process shall provide for accurate time and cost accounting and a billing cycle that provides for progress payments. 71027. A petition by the permit applicant for review of an environmental agency action in issuing, denying, or amending an environmental permit, or any portion of a consolidated permit agency permit, shall be submitted by the permit applicant to the consolidated permit agency or the participating permit agency having jurisdiction over that portion of the consolidated permit and shall be processed in accordance with the procedures of that environmental agency. The environmental agency receiving the petition shall, within 30 days, notify the other environmental agencies participating in the original consolidated permit. 71028. If an applicant petitions for a significant amendment or modification to a consolidated permit application or any of its component environmental permit applications, the consolidated permit agency shall reconvene a meeting of the participating permit agencies, conducted in accordance with Section 71022. 71029. If an applicant fails to provide information required for the processing of the component environmental permit applications for a consolidated permit or for the designation of a consolidated permit agency, the time requirements of this division shall be tolled until such time as the information is provided.
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