The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires an experienced attorney to help explain how CEQA works and how it may impact your neighborhood and your community. CEQA is designed to require state and local government agencies to listen to public input about the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects. CEQA may mandate the preparation of a full-blown environmental impact report, or it may require only an initial review of potential impacts.
The application of CEQA depends entirely on the individual project. CEQA contains multiple, often short deadlines for challenging a public agency’s decision. Your attorney can advise you on your options when you want to dispute a project, and what process you will need to follow. Our environmental law attorneys can help prepare letters, review environmental documents, and litigate issues when needed. Evans Kingsbury LLP handles CEQA cases both in the trial courts and on appeal.
- What It is:
In 1970, then-California governor Ronald Reagan signed CEQA into law. It was meant to combat concerns over the state’s water quality and smog levels by installing stricter standards on pollution and to preserve the natural environment.
CEQA requires local governments and other public agencies to identify and consider the environmental impacts a development project may have on the environment before approving it, and to mitigate these risks as much as possible.
- How it Works:
CEQA requires government agencies to prepare an initial study of potential impacts to the environment, and then consider the extent to which these potential impacts can be mitigated and how they should be mitigated. The required procedures can range from a mitigated negative declaration to a full-blown environmental impact report, depending on the project. Public input is required at every step in the CEQA process.
- How it’s Enforced:
The public has the right to sue government agencies in order to enforce CEQA. This allows communities to exercise oversight over-development that can impact their environment and quality of life and ensures that the public has a voice during the development process.
Challenging a Local Development Project? We Can Help
If you or your neighbors believe a project was approved without proper environmental review, you can take legal action. Fighting a project pursuant to CEQA can be complex and you must meet multiple time requirements. In CEQA litigation, it’s essential to follow all guidelines. Some of these can include adhering to set timelines, filing all requests, submitting all required documents, gathering evidence, and more. That’s why it is important to schedule an early consultation with an attorney who is experienced in CEQA cases, like Noreen Evans.
If this seems like a lot, don’t worry – we can help you navigate through the process.
Get Help With Local Zoning Codes and Ordinance Issues
When challenging zoning regulations and land-use restrictions, you need an expert on your side. Whether you are a business owner, homeowner, or neighborhood resident, this is a battle you do not want to face on your own. Zoning codes and ordinance issues can require working with your local government and other groups.
Hire an experienced attorney to help you protect your property and your neighborhood.
How Evans Kingsbury LLP Can Help With Environmental Law Issues
Noreen Evans has worked with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the Public Resources Code both as an environmental law attorney and as a public servant. She has written parts of CEQA, implemented CEQA as a public official, and enforced CEQA as an attorney. Noreen recently won a significant victory on behalf of a grassroots neighborhood organization under CEQA on a writ petition in the Sonoma County Superior Court. She also recently wrote an amicus brief in the Court of Appeal on behalf of an environmental advocacy group, which resulted in clarifying the proper standard of review on appeal in CEQA cases.