A Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) can be prepared for agency plans, policies, regulatory programs, or series of actions that can be characterized as one large project.
Mitigation policies and programs must have similar environmental impacts that can be mitigated in similar ways. Mitigation policies and programs must be:
- Geographically related
- Comprised of logical parts in a chain of intended actions
- Connected as a part of a continuing program
- Carried out under the same authorizing statue or regulatory authority
Program EIRs may provide other advantages including:
- Facilitating the environmental review of development across a district (such as a transit station area) and planning for area-wide multimodal mitigation measures instead of vehicular capacity measures
- Supporting the collection of an area-level fee or implementation of capital improvements
- Streamlining the approval of certain types of development in areas that otherwise would be challenging to mitigate at the individual project level
- Reducing reconsideration of recurring policy issues (such as VMT or multimodal impacts) and providing consideration of broad policy alternatives and mitigation in early stages of development when agencies have greater flexibility to deal with them.