The “OPR Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA” is one in a series of advisories authored by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) as a service to professional planners, land use officials and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) practitioners. OPR creates and updates technical advisories as needed on current issues in environmental law and land use planning that broadly affect the practice of CEQA and land use planning in California.
The purpose of this technical advisory is to provide guidance to lead agencies regarding recent changes to CEQA requiring consultation with California Native American tribes and consideration of tribal cultural resources. It summarizes the reasons for the legislative changes, and explains the substantive and procedural requirements that go into effect on July 1, 2015. Finally, it summarizes relevant case law, and provides a list of additional resources.
The Local Government Tribal Consultation List Request Form has been updated. Agencies may request a CEQA Tribal Consultation list (AB 52) or General Plan (SB 18) with the updated form.
Sample Letters for Tribes for the Implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 52 (Gatto, 2014)
(Chapter 532, California Statutes of 2014)
Request for Formal Notification and Request for Consultation
After AB 52’s July 1, 2015 effective date, public agencies will be required to consult with California Native American tribes that are on the Native American Heritage Commission’s (NAHC) consultation list that are traditionally and culturally affiliated with the geographic area of a proposed project that is subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), if the tribes request formal notification and subsequently consultation. To assist tribes in this process, the NAHC is providing the sample letters below:
- Sample letter from a California Indian tribe to a lead agency requesting formal notification of proposed CEQA projects in the tribe’s area of traditional and cultural affiliation, pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21080.3.1 subd. (d). Request for Formal Notification of Proposed CEQA Projects
- Sample letter from a California Indian tribe to a lead agency requesting consultation, pursuant Public Resources Code Section 21080.3.1, subds. (b), (d) and (e). Request-for-Formal-Tribal-Consultation