A. The custom, culture, and economy of Del Norte County is often significantly and sometimes adversely affected by federal and state plans, programs, and projects. It appears, however, that many of these adverse effects could be eliminated or substantially reduced through an effective, coordinated process of environmental review prior to implementation.
B. The policy of environmental planning and review in Del Norte County, as it relates to federal and state plans, programs, and projects, is designed to promote the stated purposes and philosophy of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA):
To declare a national policy which will encourage the productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment to promote efforts which will eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the nation.
C. Federal statutes and presidential executive orders provide the framework for coordinated planning between Del Norte County and federal agencies. Federal statutes and regulations require federal agencies to coordinate their initial planning efforts with local government. NEPA requires federal agencies to work in close consultation with local governments and coordinate plans, functions, programs and resources. Further, it is the responsibility of the federal government to assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings preserve important historic, cultural and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, whenever possible, an environment which supports diversity and a variety of individual choice.
D. The Intergovernmental Cooperation Act contains specific coordinated planning requirements for local, state, and federal agencies. Presidential Executive Order 12372 requires federal agencies to coordinate actions and projects with local governments so that local impacts arising from federal projects may be identified.
E. In adopting the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) the California legislature found and determined that:
There is a need to understand the relationship between the maintenance of high quality ecological systems and the general welfare of the people of the state.
It is the intent of the legislature that all agencies of the state government which regulate activities of private individuals, corporations, and public agencies which are found to affect the quality of the environment, shall regulate such activities so that major consideration is given to preventing environmental damage, while providing a decent home and satisfying living environment for every Californian.
F. The California legislature has further determined under CEQA that "all public agencies shall adopt by ordinance, resolution, rule or regulation, objectives, criteria, and procedures for the evaluation of projects and the preparation of environmental impact reports and negative declarations. . . ."
G. In order to carry out these important policies and objectives for federal and state plans, programs, projects, enjoyment and production which may significantly affect the quality of the human environment in Del Norte County, it is necessary for all such agencies to comply with the provisions and policies of this ordinance, including any rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, as well as the applicable provisions of NEPA and CEQA.
H. The overriding purpose of this ordinance is to assist federal and state agencies in coordinating their planning activities with Del Norte County consistent with our respective obligations under NEPA and CEQA. Further, public agencies engaged in activities which may be otherwise exempt from NEPA or CEQA are nonetheless invited and encouraged to participate voluntarily in this process.
(Ord. 2003-003 § 2 (part) 2003.)