The most powerful environmental law in the state: giving voice to Californians to create livable communities.

What is CEQA?

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s premier environmental and public process law. CEQA gives people the ability to voice their input on land use projects and requires applicants to do their fair share to protect California’s environment and our communities. By requiring discretionary land use projects to consider the environmental impacts, CEQA has helped promote sustainable development in California.

PCL helped to draft CEQA and get it passed. Each year, however, numerous legislative bills are introduced trying to bypass the CEQA process. PCL works relentlessly at the legislature to protect CEQA from such approaches and works with stakeholders across the state to keep CEQA as a vital tool for communities all while trying to update CEQA to be more efficient, effective, and predictable.

What does CEQA do?

father and sons in poppy field

CEQA has helped safeguard the state’s lands, air, waters and communities for more than four decades. It has been instrumental in reviewing countless projects that would have spewed toxins into our air, contaminated our land, and poisoned our drinking water.

Because of CEQA, ordinary Californians have successfully protected our magnificent beaches, prevented congestion and sprawl, and safeguarded the health and well being of their families and their communities. – CEQA Everyday Heroes

Our CEQA goals are to:

  • Protect the right of the public to weigh in on community land-use decisions.
  • Keep California’s environmental laws strong to prevent air and water pollution and the public health risks they pose.
  • Advocate for sensible updates to CEQA that reduce bureaucracy without weakening key environmental safeguards.