Step 4: Determine Significance
The lead agency has 20 calendar days to make its determination of significance. If the lead agency finds that it does not have sufficient information to make this determination, it may request that the applicant provide it. The lead agency must make its determination within 20 days of receipt of all the information it reasonably needs. In determining significance, the lead agency must consider:
- the whole action and the criteria [see 617.7(c);
- the EAF and any other information provided by the applicant;
- involved agency input, where applicable; and
- public input, if any.
If the lead agency has determined that the proposed action will not have a significant adverse impact on the the environment (Negative Declaration), proceed to Step 4a. If the proposed action is an Unlisted Action involving an applicant and it will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment due to imposed conditions, proceed to Step 4b.
If the proposed action may have a significant adverse impact on the environment (Positive Declaration), consider the optional scoping step, then proceed to Step 4c.
More about Step 4: Determine Significance:
- Step 4a: Issuing Negative Declarations for Type I and Unlisted Actions - Issuing Negative Declarations for Type I and Unlisted Actions
- Step 4b: Issuing a Conditioned Negative Declaration - For Unlisted Actions that involve an applicant, the lead agency may use the Conditioned Negative Declaration (CND) procedure
- Step 4c: Issue a Positive Declaration - If the lead agency has determined that the proposed action may result in a significant adverse impact, and therefore, will require preparation of an environmental impact statement, it must prepare and file a notice of that determination known as a Positive Declaration