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California Aquaculture Programmatic EIR

Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 30411(e) required the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to prepare programmatic environmental impact reports (PEIRs) for both coastal and inland commercial aquaculture projects. DFG contracted for the preparation of the draft environmental documents in 2003, but subsequently concluded that these documents were inadequate. DFG lacked sufficient resources to redraft and complete these PEIRs and additional funds from the aquaculture industry were not available to improve the initial reports.

On May 26, 2006, Senate Bill 201 was signed into law which repealed the previous aquaculture PEIR requirements and created a new section in the Fish and Game Code for developing these documents. This new section established criteria for the coastal aquaculture PEIR to be completed by DFG including extensive requirements to be addressed by marine finfish aquaculture applicants.

The certified PEIR for marine aquaculture can serve as the first tier of CEQA review for proposed aquaculture operations.  The PEIR can also serve as a guidance document for potential project sponsors in alerting them to the potential environmental impacts and the need to avoid or mitigate those impacts. The PEIR may also serve as an educational tool for interested parties that may have concerns about commercial marine aquaculture development.

The Department of Fish and Game lacked the necessary funds to complete the PEIR, necessitating the financial contribution from the Ocean Protection Council.

The PEIR is currently still under development.

Council Documents

Staff Recommendation (June 2006)

Staff Recommendation (November 2010)

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