California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

CEQA Toolbox

Criteria for Identifying the Lead Agency

Where two or more public agencies will be involved with a project, the determination of which agency will be the lead agency shall be governed by the following criteria:

  • If the project will be carried out by a public agency, that agency shall be the lead agency even if the project would be located within the jurisdiction of another public agency.
  • If the project is to be carried out by a nongovernmental person or entity, the lead agency shall be the public agency with the greatest responsibility for supervising or approving the project as a whole. The lead agency will normally be the agency with general governmental powers, such as a city or county, rather than an agency with a single or limited purpose such as an air pollution control district or a district which will provide a public service or public utility to the project.
  • Where more than one public agency equally meet the criteria, the agency that acts first on the project in question shall be the lead agency.
  • Where there are two or more public agencies with a substantial claim to be the lead agency, the public agencies may by agreement designate an agency as the lead agency. An agreement may also provide for cooperative efforts by two or more agencies by contract, joint exercise of powers, or similar devices.

References: 14, CCR Section 15050

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Last updated: September 6, 2013
Permit Toolbox, http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/SWFacilities/Permitting/
Kevin Taylor: Kevin.Taylor@calrecycle.ca.gov (916) 341-6582