Throughout the CEQA process, the public is asked to comment on the environmental impacts of any given project. These environmental impacts fall into the categories listed below. In order to best address these environmental impacts, PCL has provided a list of questions one should ask to better understand the specific impacts each category will have on the local community. Keep in mind that these lists of questions are non-exhaustive and only represent a general, non-specific overview of potential impacts. Some research may be necessary to properly evaluate each impact category.

Environmental Impact Categories Include:


  • Consistency with the community’s design?
  • Tree removal and aesthetic impacts? (e.g. is there a tree ordinance)
  • Scenic vistas and resources?
  • Night lighting?
  • Visual character?
  • Overall site quality?

Agricultural Resources

  • Conflict with zoning or a Williamson Act contract?
  • Conversion of farmland to non-farmland uses?
  • Changes lead to future farmland conversion?

Air Quality

  • Greenhouse gas inventory?
  • Air Quality Management Plan met?
  • Emission of NOx, PM10, PM2.5?
  • CO2 neutral?
  • Dust/Diesel Impacts?
  • Health Risk Assessment?
  • Acute/Chronic Impacts?

Biological Resources

  • Existing wildlife movement corridor?
  • Endangered, threatened or species of special concern?
  • Critical habitat?
  • Sensitive habitat?
  • Dept. of Fish and Game comments?

Cultural Resources

  • Native American artifacts present?
  • Historic structures present?
  • Does the site have value to Native American Councils?
  • Native American Heritage Commission comments?

Geology/Soils (Geotechnical Hazards)

  • Earthquake faults?
  • Known/historic landslides?
  • Potential location for liquefaction?
  • Are landforms altered?

Hazards & Hazardous Materials

  • Site contaminants?
  • Exposure to regular pesticide use?
  • Dept. of Toxic Substances Control cleanup?

Hydrology/Water Quality

  • Water restrictions with drought?
  • Reclaimed water system?
  • Runoff Management Plan?
  • Low Impact Development?
  • Water supply assessment?
  • Water neutral?

Land Use/Planning

  • General Plan consistency?
  • Sustainable planning measures?
  • Distance from services?
  • Pre-wired/plumbed for solar?
  • Any zoning changes?

Mineral Resources

  • Loss of availability of known resources?
  • Loss of availability of access to known mineral recovery?


  • On site noise levels?
  • Community noise level standards in the general plan?
  • Noise from construction?
  • Sensitive receptors?
  • Noise from daily operations?


  • Meets Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) goals?
  • Impact to local schools and community centers?
  • Balance between jobs and housing?

Public Services

  • Increases the urban-wild land interface?
  • Impacts to response times for emergency services?
  • In-lieu fees?
  • Availability of sewers, electricity, and utilities?


  • Are recreational facilities included?
  • Will recreational facilities be sufficient?


  • Changes to the level of service, load and capacity for existing roads?
  • Additional traffic signals?
  • Reduce the use of vehicular transportation?
  • Transit Oriented Development?

Utilities/Service Systems

  • Underground electrical lines?
  • Upgrade to sewer or water/wastewater lines?
  • Opportunities for renewable power?

Mandatory Findings of Significance

  • ‘Cumulatively Considered’ impacts?
  • Potential environmental degradation?
  • Potential impact on all species?