The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was adopted by the State Legislature in 1970 in response to public demand that the environmental consequences of a project be known prior to project approval. CEQA encourages protection of the environment by requiring state and local agencies to prepare a range of environmental impact analyses and to make decisions on projects only after considering their effect on the environment. Public agencies use CEQA compliance documents (environmental impact reports [EIR], mitigated negative declaration [MND], and negative declarations [ND]) to assess project impacts and recommend measures to protect the community and environmental resources.
Environmental review includes analysis of a wide spectrum of environmental issue areas including: Aesthetics, Agriculture, Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use and Planning, Mineral Resources, Noise, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation and Traffic, and Utilities.
Once these issues are fully analyzed in the CEQA compliance documentation (ND, MND, EIR), CEQA provides for a public review and comment period. A minimum of20 days is provided for a ND or MND and 45 days is provided for an EIR. During this time, the public is encouraged to review the CEQA compliance document and to comment on the environmental analysis and impacts of the project. For additional information regarding the City's Local Environmental Review Process, follow this link.