New CEQA Filing Requirements for Local Agencies


When a local agency files a notice of determination (“NOD”) or notice of exemption (“NOE”) as set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”), it shortens the statute of limitations for challenges to its project approval and CEQA determinations.  On October 13, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 69 (Cortese) (“SB 69”) introducing new requirements to the NOD and NOE filing processes.

Changes Introduced by SB 69 for Local Agencies

Effective January 1, 2024, SB 69 will require local agencies to adhere to the following procedures pursuant to Public Resources Code (“PRC”) section 21152:

  • Notice of Determination: If a local agency files an NOD with the county clerk of each county in which the project is located, the local agency must also file the NOD with the State Clearinghouse in the Office of Planning and Research (“OPR”).
  • Notice of Exemption: If a local agency files an NOE with the county clerk of each county in which the project is located, the local agency must also file the NOE with the State Clearinghouse in the OPR.
  • Posting Requirements: SB 69 mandates that NODs and NOEs, filed pursuant to PRC section 21152, including any subsequent or amended notice, be posted in both the office and website of the applicable county clerk and by the OPR on the State Clearinghouse website within 24 hours of receipt, and must remain posted for 30 days.
  • Statute of Limitations: SB 69 provides that the statute of limitations under PRC section 21167 does not commence until the local agency fulfills all notice-related requirements.
  • Electronic Filing Requirement: Local agencies are mandated to electronically file NODs and NOEs with the State Clearinghouse in the OPR.

As noted in the March 13, 2023, Senate Committee on Environmental Quality legislative analysis, Senator Dave Cortese, author of SB 69, aims to enhance transparency in the CEQA notification process, aligning local agencies with the posting practices of state agencies. 

Please feel free to contact the Authors of this Alert or your regular AALRR counsel with any questions. 

Special thanks to our law clerk, Farrah Ghaffarirafi, for her assistance with this alert.

This AALRR publication is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in reaching a conclusion in a particular area of law. Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. Receipt of this or any other AALRR publication does not create an attorney-client relationship. AALRR is not responsible for inadvertent errors that may occur in the publishing process. 

© 2023 Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo 



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