The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) establishes a process to incorporate scientific data and public input into the project development approval process.  State and local agencies are required to review the potential environmental impacts of proposed public and private projects, and to mitigate those impacts to the extent feasible, prior to taking any action on the project.

The laws and rules governing CEQA set forth the procedures and timeframes for environmental review of proposed public and private projects.  The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), together with the Natural Resources Agency, develop the CEQA Guidelines, which are administrative regulations interpreting the CEQA statute and published court decisions.

CEQA can be controversial, and it is not uncommon for the process to result in costly litigation and project delays. However, CEQA can also be a useful tool to protect the unique characteristics of rural California. With that in mind, RCRC is mindful of the need to streamline the CEQA process and resist new provisions that (1) complicate the administrative process; (2) increase the risk of actionable procedural violations; or (3) add to costs of the CEQA process.

Staff: Mary-Ann Warmerdam and Mary Pitto