The State Clearinghouse is at the center of State agency involvement in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review process and serves as the State “Single Point of Contact.”
Introduction to the State Clearinghouse
Established in 1973, the State Clearinghouse (SCH), a division of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), coordinates the State-level review of Environmental Documents prepared pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
The SCH is at the center of State agency involvement in the CEQA environmental review process. It is responsible for reviewing and distributing Environmental Documents to State agencies for review, advising and assisting government agencies and the public on the environmental review process, and maintaining records of all Environmental Documents and notices that it receives for public access. The CEQA Guidelines govern the operation of the SCH and define its roles and responsibilities (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Sections 15000-15387).
The CEQA Guidelines are updated annually – always make sure to refer to the most recently updated version.
Evolution of State Clearinghouse Processes
Additionally, the SCH functions as the “State Single Point of Contact” (SPOC) for coordinating State and local review of applications for federal grants or loans under select State programs (as governed by the Presidential Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs). With the signing of Assembly Bill 1348 (Irwin, 2016), the SCH is responsible for reporting on all federal grants applied for and received in California, regardless of whether they fall under E.O. 12372. The SCH also coordinates the review of federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents. The purpose of the process is to afford state and local participation in federal activities occurring within California. The Executive Order does not replace public participation, comment, or review requirements of other federal laws, such as NEPA, but gives the state an additional mechanism to ensure federal agency responsiveness to state and local concerns.
Visit OPR’s Federal Assistance page for more information and resources.
Links and Resources
Hours of Operation
The State Clearinghouse (SCH) operates Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and closes on all State Holidays.
State agencies who must pay Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) filing fees may come drop off their checks at the SCH office any time between these hours. Note: Do not use the prior P.O. Box 3044, as it is no longer valid. Please instead walk in or mail CDFW filing fees to:
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
State Clearinghouse Unit
1400 Tenth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
All CEQA documents and notices, which are now only accepted via online submission, must be submitted by the following times for same-day review and publication:
- Notices of Determination (NODs) by 4:00 p.m.
- Notices of Exemption (NOEs) by 4:00 p.m.
- All Draft and Final Environmental Documents by 3:30 p.m.
Note: Public Resources Code Section 21091(c)(3) allows for “three working days from the date of receipt” for the SCH to start the State review period and distribute the Draft documents to State agencies for review and comment.
Accessing Published CEQA Documents
The State Clearinghouse (SCH) keeps records of all CEQA Documents it receives on the CEQAnet database. CEQAnet provides summaries of Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs), Negative Declarations, Environmental Impact Statements, and other types of CEQA and NEPA documents. The summaries include the project title, project location, lead agency name, contact information, and project description. The search functions allow you to browse documents by year, regional project location, end review periods, and a new custom search powered by Google.
As of March 2019, CEQAnet provides copies of all full text Environmental Documents and notices. CEQAnet will not have copies of original documents published prior to March 2019. Individuals looking for copies of documents published prior to March 2019 should contact the lead agency.
CEQAnet is not a comprehensive database of all CEQA and NEPA documents in California because not all Environmental Documents and notices are submitted to the SCH.
Please note that the documents on CEQAnet are posted in the manner they were received. OPR does not control the content of external, third party documents submitted to us. If you need assistance accessing content in an alternate format, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us via phone at 916-445-0613.