Environmental Impact Reports
A Summary of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
(California Public Resources Code, Sections 21000 – 21178, and Title 14 CCR, Section 753, and Chapter 3, Sections 15000 – 15387)
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s broadest environmental law. CEQA helps to guide the Department during issuance of permits and approval of projects. Courts have interpreted CEQA to afford the fullest protection of the environment within the reasonable scope of the statutes. CEQA applies to all discretionary projects proposed to be conducted or approved by a California public agency, including private projects requiring discretionary government approval.
The purpose of CEQA is to:
- Disclose to the public the significant environmental effects of a proposed discretionary project, through the preparation of an Initial Study (IS), Negative Declaration (ND), or Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
- Prevent or minimize damage to the environment through development of project alternatives, mitigation measures, and mitigation monitoring.
- Disclose to the public the agency decision making process utilized to approve discretionary projects through findings and statements of overriding consideration.
- Enhance public participation in the environmental review process through scoping meetings, public notice, public review, hearings, and the judicial process.
- Improve interagency coordination through early consultations, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, and State Clearinghouse review.
For more information, please visit CEQA Procedures for Internal CDFW Actions
Section 21092.3 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:
The notices required pursuant to Sections 21080.4 and 21092 for an environmental impact report shall be posted in the office and on the internet website of the county clerk of each county in which the project will be located and shall remain posted for a period of 30 days. The notice required pursuant to Section 21092 for a negative declaration shall be so posted for a period of 20 days, unless otherwise required by law to be posted for 30 days. The county clerk shall post the notices within 24 hours of receipt.