CEQA Exceptions


Classes 3, 4, 5, 6, and 11 of 14 CCR Section 15300 are qualified by consideration of where the project is to be located. For example, a project that is ordinarily insignificant in its impact on the environment may, in a particularly sensitive environment, be significant. Therefore, these classes are considered to apply in all instances, except where the project may impact on an environmental resource of hazardous or critical concern where designated, precisely mapped, and officially adopted pursuant to law by federal, state, or local agencies.

Cumulative Impact

All exemptions for these classes are inapplicable when the cumulative impact of successive projects of the same type, in the same place, over time is significant (for example, annual additions to an existing building under Class 1).

Significant Effect

A categorical exemption shall not be used for an activity where there is a reasonable possibility that the activity will have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances.

Scenic Highways

A categorical exemption shall not be used for a project which may result in damage to scenic resources, including but not limited to, trees, historic buildings, rock outcroppings, or similar resources, within a highway officially designated as a state scenic highway. This does not apply to improvements which are required as mitigation by an adopted ND or certified EIR.

Hazardous Waste Sites

A categorical exemption shall not be used for a project located on a site which is included on any list compiled pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government Code.

Historical Resources

A categorical exemption shall not be used for a project which may cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource.

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For more information contact: LEA Support Services, PermitTrainingAssistance@calrecycle.ca.gov