Pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 711.4, subdivision (c)(1)(opens in new tab), all project proponents including public agencies subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) shall pay an environmental document filing fee for each project. The environmental document filing fee will be waived if the project will have no effect on fish and wildlife. Projects that are statutorily or categorically exempt from CEQA are not subject to the environmental document filing fee and do not require a no effect determination (NED) (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, §§ 15260 – 15333; Fish & G. Code, § 711.4, subd. (d)(1)(opens in new tab)).
Determining whether a project subject to CEQA will affect fish and wildlife is the responsibility of CDFW. An NED is made solely for the purpose of determining environmental document filing fees and is not part of the assessment a lead agency makes under CEQA (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 14, § 753.5, subd. (c)(1)(A)(opens in new tab)). Lead agencies continue to be responsible for determining whether projects will have potentially significant environmental effects on the environment, including biological resources.