California Environmental Quality Act: Environmental Impact Analysis

California Environmental Quality Act (Part 2): Environmental Impact Analysis

Updated on September 11, 2023

Last week we covered steps one and two of The California Environmental Quality Act. In today’s blog, we will discuss the third and final step, the Environmental Impact Analysis.

Step 3: Environmental Impact Analysis

If the agency finds that the project has a significant environmental impact, an “Environmental Impact Report” (“EIR”) must be generated. (Id.) The EIR must set forth in detail: (1) the significant environmental impacts of the proposed project, (2) any significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be avoided, (3) significant irreversible environmental challenges involved in the project, (4) the growth-inducing impact of the project, (5) mitigation measures proposed to minimize the project’s significant impact on the environment, and (6) alternatives to the proposed project. (Public Resources Code section 21100.) This is just a list of the basic requirements. There are a number of other procedural and substantive requirements that go into EIR review. If your project falls under CEQA and does not qualify for an exemption, you may want to contact and attorney to assist you in navigating the process.

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Litigation Involving CEQA

Litigation frequently occurs over issues involving public discretionary project compliance with the CEQA requirements, as well as agency determinations under all three stages of the three-tier review process. For example, homeowners have sued the city for a city agency’s issuance of use permits based on an exemption. (Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City of Berkeley (2015) 60 Cal.4th 1086.)  Another more newsworthy example is the ongoing litigation involving the Millennium Towers in Hollywood (“Millennium Litigation”). In the Millennium Litigation, the Second District Court of Appeals determined that the “project description” in the EIR lacked in sufficient detail. While we do not get into detail of these examples in this blog, they show that legal issues under the CEQA run the gamut from small residential projects to construction projects on the largest scale.

If you are a private entity attempting to undertake a discretionary project, you may need help navigating process to comply with the CEQA. Schorr Law’s attorneys are experienced in real estate litigation and may be able to assist you. Alternatively, if you are a community member concerned about the potential environmental impact of a proposed project that falls under CEQA, you have right to make sure the CEQA process is followed in accordance with the law. Schorr Law’s attorneys are also experienced to assist you in such matters.

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Contact Schorr Law to schedule a consultation, today.