Negative Declaration/

What is a Negative Declaration?

A negative declaration is a written statement, usually prepared by the lead agency, describing the reasons that a proposed project will not have a significant effect on the environment, and does not require the preparation of an EIR.

Reference: PRC Section 21064

Decision to Prepare a Negative Declaration

A public agency shall prepare, or have prepared, a proposed ND or MND for a project subject to CEQA when:

  • The initial study shows that the project will have no significant effect on the environment, or
  • The initial study identified potentially significant effects, but
    • Revisions in the project before the initial study and negative declaration are released for public review, would avoid the effects, or mitigate the effects to a level of insignificance, and
    • There is no substantial evidence that the project as revised may have a significant effect on the environment. (Title 14 CCR §15070 and PRC §§21064.5 – 21065)

Negative Declaration Content

A negative declaration should contain, but not be limited to, the following:

  • A brief description of the project including a commonly used name for the project;
  • The location of the project, shown on a map, and the name of the project proponent;
  • A proposed finding that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment;
  • An attached copy of the initial study documenting reasons to support the finding; and
  • Mitigation measures, if any, included in the project to avoid potentially significant effects.

Reference: 14 CCR Section 15071

Disclosure in a Negative Declaration

Preparing a ND necessarily involves some degree of forecasting. While foreseeing the unforeseeable is not possible, an agency must use its best efforts to find out and disclose all that it reasonably can.

Reference: 14 CCR Section 15144

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