Imperial County has appointed the Environmental Evaluation Commission (EEC) to evaluate all projects, subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EEC consists of a seven (7) member panel. The members of the EEC shall be the following County Officials, or their designees, as appointed by the Board of Supervisors. A listing of the authorized "designees" shall be on file with the Planning & Development Services Department.
1. Director, Department of Health Services/Environmental Health Services Division;
2. Fire Chief & Coordinator, Office of Emergency Services/Fire Protection;
3. Agricultural Commissioner;
4. Air Pollution Control District;
5. Director, Department of Public Works;
6. County Sherrif/ Public Safety; and,
7. Director, Planning & Development Services Department. (Serves as Chair of Committee).
The intent of the EEC is to analyze projects subject to CEQA for their potential environmental impacts. The EEC holds a public hearing twice a month (unless there are no active projects). At the hearing the committee members will hear the project, take input from the general public and the project applicant, and makes a recommendation, which could result in the project receiving a Negative Declaration, Mitigated Negative Declaration, or the requirement for the preparation of a Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
1. Negative Declaration refers to a written statement by the lead agency briefly describing the reasons that a proposed project, not exempt from CEQA, will not have a significant effect on the environment and therefore will not require an EIR.
2. Mitigated Negative Declaration refers to a Negative Declaration prepared for a project when the initial study has identified potentially significant effects on the environment, but mitigation measures will be adopted in order to reduce the impacts on the environment to less than significant. Mitigation measures include:
(a) Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action.
(b) Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation.
(c) Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the impacted environment.
(d) Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.
(e) Compensating for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments.
3. Environmental Impact Report refers to a detailed statement prepared under CEQA describing and analyzing the significant environmental effects of a project and discussing ways to mitigate or avoid the effects.
Planning Staff will serve as staff to the EEC and will prepare an Initial Study, which is a preliminary analysis of the project designed to assist the EEC in determining whether an EIR or a Negative Declaration must be prepared or to identify the significant effects to be analyzed in an EIR. In preparing the Initial Study, Planning Staff will consult with all appropriate County Departments, as well as all applicable local, state and federal agencies, for their expert evaluation of the project’s potential environmental impacts. Planning Staff will also handle all public noticing of the projects.
The Committee meets every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month at 1:30PM in the Board of Supervisors’ Chambers.