California Department of Fish and Wildlife

CEQA Project Documentation Procedures For CDFW-Initiated Projects

These are the instructions provided to CDFW personnel for guidance on the CEQA compliance procedures for documentation of CDFW, Fish and Game Commission, or Wildlife Conservation Board projects. These procedures are to be used in conjunction with the CEQA statutes and Guidelines in the Public Resources Code (Sections 21000 - 21178) and the California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 3 (Sections 15000 - 15387). Regulations for CDFW's implementation of CEQA and the Guidelines are found in Title 14, Chapter 4, beginning with Section 750.

A "project" (CEQA Guidelines, Section 15378) is an action which may result in a physical change in the environment. Continuing administrative and maintenance activities such as purchases of supplies, personnel actions, and general policy making are not considered projects under CEQA.

Projects which are limited to "planning and feasibility studies", "Ministerial actions", or are "categorically exempt" are exempt from preparing Negative Declarations and Environmental Impact Reports (EIR) for public review and comment prior to their adoption by CDFW.

Certain state regulatory programs are also exempt from CEQA in that a Negative Declaration or an EIR doesn't have to be prepared because those programs have been certified by the Secretary of Resources as meeting the requirements of CEQA. They are however, still required to prepare a functionally equivalent or substitute document that must meet certain CEQA requirements. The Fish and Game Commission's regulatory program and CDFW's program for adoption of regulations are state certified regulatory programs which go through a separate "environmental process" explained at the end of these instructions. A list of other Certified State Regulatory Programs, which include programs of the State Board of Forestry, California Coastal Commission, California Energy Commission, and the State Water Resources Control Board, can be found under CEQA Guidelines Section 15251.

A statewide CEQA tracking system will be used and maintained by headquarters and the regions. This tracking system allows regions and headquarters to input information about the level of document review being accomplished by CDFW on a regional and statewide basis and allows effective evaluation of our CEQA review program. CDFW plans to integrate its database tracking systems for CEQA, 1600, CESA permitting, and other programs so that all are linked into a common system that can perform higher level analyses.

Email Link Contact CEQA Program – CDFW staff cannot make decisions or intercede on CEQA projects under the jurisdiction of another lead agency. Please address project-specific comments to the project's lead agency.