Environmental Coordination Services

What We Do

Environmental Coordination Services was established to coordinate the environmental review process in Placer County. Most land development projects require some level of environmental review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and this office ensures that projects in environmental review stay on track with time frames established by both the County and State of California. The environmental review process is the first step for land development proposals and results in the preparation of an environmental document (Negative Declaration; Mitigated Negative Declaration; Environmental Impact Report, etc.). The document includes analysis of the potential environmental impact of a proposed project, and in many cases, identifies appropriate mitigation measures to reduce impacts. Some project proposals are Exempt from environmental review such as Variances, Building Permits, and some Minor Use Permits.

Active Project List

Placer County's CEQA Active Projects list identifies current projects which are going through the environmental review process. The CEQA Active Projects list is available in both alphabetical order and by Board of Supervisors District. This listing does not include projects that are Exempt from environmental review.

Notice of Determination Fees

When the environmental document is adopted or certified, the final step of the environmental review process is the filing of the Notice of Determination. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) fees for filing the "Notice of Determination" are:

  • Negative Declarations - $2,404.75 (includes $50 Recorder's fee)
  • Environmental Impact Reports - $3,271 (includes $50 Recorder's fee)

New Transportation Metric for CEQA Analysis

Senate Bill 743 (SB 743) was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 27, 2013. The bill requires new guidelines for CEQA lead agencies, such as Placer, to reevaluate their transportation metric. Previously, the industry standard for assessing transportation impacts was Level of Service (LOS), which looks at the quality of a roadway based on measures like speed, density, congestion, etc. At the beginning of 2019, SB 743 went into effect requiring lead agencies to transition to using Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) to evaluate transportation impacts. VMT is a measurement of the number of miles traveled within a specified region over a given time period. This change is intended to capture the impacts of driving on the environment rather than the impacts of delay on drivers. Concerns about the impact of projects on drivers using LOS or other delay metrics may still occur as part of a project’s land use entitlements, and a project will still be required to participate in the County’s impact fee programs. However, LOS will no longer be allowed as a basis for transportation impacts under CEQA. For more information on SB 743, click here.

Placer County is currently working on a SB 743 Implementation Plan. Through that plan, the County will establish a methodology, VMT metric, and thresholds needed to analyze VMT in a CEQA document. Any discretionary project that will be in a public review process (including those requiring public hearings) after July 1, 2020 will need to assess VMT in their environmental document. The County is being assisted by industry leading technical experts for this effort. Refer to their website for more information on SB 743

Project applicants who have questions about VMT should direct questions to Leigh Chavez or Katie Jackson.