CEQA 101

Understanding the California Environmental Quality Act

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California’s “Environmental Bill of Rights”

Enacted in 1970, CEQA (pronounced see-qua) requires state and local agencies to disclose and address the environmental effects of projects before they approve them. But CEQA is a self-executing statute, meaning that it’s up to the public to use and enforce it. That’s why it’s often referred to as a bill of rights that each of us can use to protect our communities and natural environment.

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Begin here

Watch our quick video series for a crash course on CEQA in under 10 minutes.

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Diving Deeper

Continue your learning by selecting from our library of CEQA topics below.

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CEQA exemptions

Not all projects fall under CEQA. See why.

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Public agencies & CEQA

Agencies fall into different types of categories. Here’s what you’ll need to know.

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CEQA vs. NEPA

Learn the differences between state and federal law.

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CEQA documents

From declarations to EIRs, get to know the documentation.

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CEQA legal principles

Familiarize yourself with the law’s basic concepts.

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The CEQA process

Learn the steps of environmental review.

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How to get involved

Everything you need to know to take action.

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Navigating the EIR

Making sense of this foundational document.

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Writing comment letters

Helpful tips for science-based input.