The California Environmental Quality Act in 2015 – Summary of New Court Decisions, Statutory Changes and Proposed CEQA Guidelines Amendments
The Cox, Castle & Nicholson land use team has prepared a summary of all the 2015 legal developments relating to the California Environmental Quality Act, including all the published court decisions, a few legislative changes, and developments regarding the CEQA Guidelines. There were a number of important developments in 2015 court decisions, but little significant activity in the Legislature or with respect to CEQA Guideline changes. The California Supreme Court issued four decisions, covering topics such as whether EIRs are required to evaluate impacts to a project from existing environmental conditions, how to evaluate greenhouse gas emissions, and the legal standards governing the use of categorical exemptions from CEQA review. There were over 20 appellate decisions under CEQA, and generally these decisions upheld EIRs, particularly on questions of how to determine the environmental baseline that is used in measuring impacts.
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