California has one of the most detailed environmental statutes in the United States. No other state has the same mandate level for detailed, project-specific review. Some of the laws and regulations projects in the state are subjected to include the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, the state and federal Clean Air Acts, the federal Clean Water Act, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s streambed alteration permit law. These acts and laws are just a fraction of the regulatory programs, policies, and requirements present in California’s environmental protection realm. The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process works in concert with these laws to identify potential adverse impacts to the environment and inform decision makers and the public of these consequences. The standards enacted in these resource protections laws become the “significance thresholds” described in CEQA and help local planners and environmental analysts to connect land use decisions with environmental protection.
Almost any discretionary action involving the physical environment is a “project” subject to CEQA. Some actions can be exempt from CEQA through categorical exemptions, which are divided into approximately 32 categories. If a project is not exempt, an assessment will need to be conducted to determine if the project will produce “significant” environmental impacts, otherwise known as an initial study. Dependent on if significant impacts will be produced as a result of the project, a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or environmental impact report will need to be created and submitted to the state.
Compliance Solutions, Inc. has the expertise and tools to facilitate the CEQA process for both private companies and public agencies. Conducting endangered species surveys, archaeological surveys, environmental impact assessments and addressing the initial study environmental checklist are just some of the ways Compliance Solutions can assist in the CEQA process. From assistance to adhering to the minimum requirements of natural resource protections laws to drafting environmental impact reports to satisfy CEQA requirements to mitigating potential impacts, Compliance Solutions will ensure your project flows through CEQA in the best way possible.