C.2. Environmental Impact Procedures and Fund-raising Campaigns Spring 1992 Development Policy and Administration Manual Chapter I. Soliciting and Accepting Private Funds Section C. Fund-raising Campaigns ************************************************************* ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT PROCEDURES AND FUND-RAISING CAMPAIGNS The California Environmental Quality Act of 1970 (CEQA) requires the University to complete the appropriate environmental review process before it makes a commitment to proceed with a project. Under State CEQA Guidelines, "project" means "the whole of an action which has a potential for resulting in a physical change in the environment, directly or ultimately." For the University, typical projects that could have a significant effect on the environment include capital construction projects, long-range development plans, leases, acquisition of property, and substantial changes in the use of existing facilities. Approval of a fund-raising campaign permits the University to accept gifts that are irrevocable, both from the donor's point of view and as a matter of charitable trust law. Because a court might reasonably hold that conducting a fund-raising campaign constitutes a commitment to proceed with a project, in general, fund-raising campaign authorization for a particular project should not be sought before completion of the environmental impact review process. Besides risking CEQA violations, the University also places itself in the position of soliciting gifts for a project that may be subsequently canceled or so greatly modified that it no longer corresponds with the representation made to the donors. The UC CEQA Handbook governs the University's compliance. Under these procedures a project must be classified as to its expected environmental impact, using a standard Environmental Impact Classification form (EIC form). An EIC form should be prepared when a project is first proposed to the Office of the President if the project requires Office of the President action. If the project does not require Office of the President concurrence, an EIC form must be prepared before the project is approved at the campus level. For capital projects, the EIC form is included in the Project Planning Guide (PPG). The EIC form contains four basic classifications: 1. Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. If it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the project may have a significant effect on the environment. 2. Categorically Exempt. If the project is included within a list of classes, established in the State Guidelines, that have been determined to have no significant effect on the environment. 3. Initial Study. If the project is not exempt from CEQA or Categorically Exempt and may have a significant effect on the environment. 4. Environmental Impact Report. If the project may, is likely to, or clearly will have a significant effect on the environment. If the President, in consultation with General Counsel, concurs with the campus that a project is classified as Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act or Categorically Exempt, the environmental impact review process ends and a fund-raising campaign may be approved. If the project is classified as requiring an Initial Study or an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), such a document must be prepared and submitted for public review. The EIR or Initial Study and any comments received during the public review period are then considered incident to the decision by the Chancellor, President, their delegated officers, or The Regents, to authorize the fund-raising campaign. For capital projects, The Regents normally will review and certify the required CEQA documentation when they approve the design of the project. If The Regents do approve a fund-raising campaign before the final design has been approved, any gift solicitation made before the final design approval should clearly inform donors that the project is provisional and that CEQA review must be completed before a commitment to the project can be made. Reference: UC CEQA Handbook, Procedural Handbook and Model Approach for Implementing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), 1991.