Then Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2782 by Assembly Member Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) on August 24, 2018 as Chapter 193 of the Statutes of 2018. Assembly Bill 2782 authorizes lead agencies to consider the specific benefits and negative impacts of a project during the EIR process.

The CEQA guidelines contain language that is similar to language in Assembly Bill 2782. The bill was actively supported by the California Chamber of Commerce, California Business Properties Association, and California Building Industry Association. Assembly Bill 2782 added Section 21082.4 to the California Public Resources Code and its provisions went into effect on January 1, 2019.

The author’s explanation for the legislation stated, “The current EIR process does not include considering the negative consequences within an area of a project not being approved. For example, a project that increases density within the area could lead to overall GHG reduction. Without considering all potential negative and positive impacts of a project, the value within a community is diminished or a careless project can be avoided. It is beneficial to a region for every aspect of a project and its impact to be considered as part of the final approval or denial of a project under environmental review.”

That’s the stated purposed of the Legislature’s adoption of AB 2782.