CalEnviroScreen 3.0 ~ Not A Tool For CEQA Review Or Permitting Decisions

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Today, our colleagues Norman Carlin and Kevin Ashe posted their client alert on the California Environmental Protection Agency’s and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s recent release of an “Update to the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool,” better known as CalEnviroScreen Version 3.0. CalEnviroScreen is a software tool used to identify and direct resources to communities affected by pollution, based on environmental exposure and population data. As guidance for prior CalEnviroScreen versions made clear, however, the tool’s approach to “cumulative impacts” is very different from that of environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). While Version 3.0 omits a clear statement to that effect, lead agencies and project proponents should be confident that CEQA law has not changed and CalEnviroScreen remains the wrong tool for CEQA review of local projects and permitting decisions. The alert is titled CalEnviroScreen 3.0 – Still the Wrong Tool  for CEQA Review.