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California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

oak groveThe California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California's preeminent environmental law, and has helped safeguard the state's lands, air, waters and communities for more than four decades. The law requires state and local agencies to assess and disclose environmental impacts of proposed projects, and to minimize or mitigate those impacts to the greatest extent possible. It is an environmental 'bill of rights' that ensures the public is engaged in the decisions that impact them most directly. And it is a law that has fostered more environmentally sound projects in virtually every community throughout California. The Planning and Conservation League (PCL) and PCL Foundation have had a long history with CEQA, helping to draft and pass the landmark law in 1970, and playing a key role in defending CEQA in the legislature and the courts since that time.

2013 Session Wrap-Up of CEQA Bills
PCL's summary of how CEQA bills fared in the 2013 legislative session.

See 2013 Session Wrap-up of CEQA Bills>

Seal Beach CEQA Workshop a Success!
PCL Foundation hosted its second CEQA Community Workshop of 2013 in Seal Beach on April 6th. The event, sponsored by Los Cerritos Wetlands Land Trust, Banning Ranch Conservancy, El Dorado Audubon Society, Friends of Harbors Beaches and Parks, and Surfrider Foundation drew a crowd of 40 people inside on a beautiful spring day to hear Amy Minteer, an attorney from Chatten-Brown and Carstens, explain how to engage in the environmental review process.

Community workshops are a great way to bring local organizations together to learn how to shape your community's environmental future. We are hoping to do two more workshops this year, one in the Bay Area and one in the Central Valley. Please contact Meredith Mitchell ( or 916-822-5636) if you are interested in hosting a workshop and want to learn more.

Get More Information on CEQA:


CEQA Workshops

Since 2002 PCLF has lead dozens of CEQA workshops throughout California focusing on the consequences of California's growth on local communities. We encourage you to attend, host or sponsor a CEQA workshop in your area or learn how to use the California Environmental Quality Act to protect local communities from environmental degradation.


Community Guide to CEQA

PCLF is in the process of updating its Community Guide to CEQA. Please check back in late 2013 to order the latest Community Guide. We will be scheduling workshops throughout the state beginning again in 2014 to help communities effectively participate in the environmental review process. Please contact Meredith Mitchell ( or 916-822-5636) with inquiries about CEQA Workshops or the Community Guide.



Why is CEQA important? How does CEQA work? What is at stake in the current controversy surrounding CEQA? Get these and other questions answered on our Frequently Asked Question information sheet.


CEQA Works

A coalition of civic, conservation, environmental justice, labor, preservation, and public health groups today announced the launch ofCEQA Works.


CEQA Resources

In an effort to equip Californians with the tools necessary to partake in the process, our sister organization the PCL Foundation has compiled an array of useful information in an online resource section. This is a single resource for all your CEQA needs. From the "CEQA Guidelines and Statutes" to best practice tips on "How to Deliver Your Comments Effectively," all of it can be found in this section.


Our Report: Everyday Heroes

This comprehensive report by the Planning and Conservation League, the PCL Foundation, and the California League of Conservation Voters showcases the sweeping achievements of our state's cornerstone thirty-five year law.


CalHeroes - Celebrating 40 Years of Environmental Protection

In early 2011, PCL and the PCL Foundation launched the CalHeroes website to celebrate the victories achieved by the California Environmental Quality Act. Learn more about the law, read success stories, share your story and support our work.


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