Assembly Bill (AB) 52 Signed! How This May Affect Your Projects


ECORP cultural resources experts advise clients on changes in laws and regulations that deal with cultural resources. For example, Assembly Bill (AB) 52, a new state law recently signed by the governor, amended the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to require Tribal Cultural Resources to be considered as potentially significant cultural resources under the CEQA environmental review process. AB 52 requires consultation with California Native American tribes during the CEQA process. Recognizing that California tribes are experts in their tribal cultural resources and heritage, this bill requires that CEQA lead agencies carry out consultation with tribes at the commencement of the CEQA process to identify and evaluate the significance of Tribal Cultural Resources, a new category of cultural resources under CEQA. Impacts to significant Tribal Cultural Resources would be considered a significant impact on the environment under CEQA and would require mitigation. Tribal Cultural Resources will be separated from cultural and paleontological resources in an upcoming revision to the CEQA checklist. AB 52 applies to all CEQA environmental documents for which a Notice of Preparation is filed on or after July 1, 2015.

For more information on how AB 52 may affect your project, please contact the cultural resources specialist in your area. Contact Lisa Westwood (Northern California) at (916) 782-9100 or Roger Mason (Southern California) at (714) 648-0630.