The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires local and state governments to consider the potential environmental effects of a project prior to making a decision. Your local City Planning prepares documents for all discretionary projects that may result in a significant environmental impact, thus an environmental review may be necessary. CEQA’s purpose is to disclose the potential impacts of a project, suggest methods to minimize those impacts, and discuss alternatives to the project so that decision makers will have full information upon which to base their decision. After the initial study has taken place, results can yield three different documents:
- Negative Declaration (ND) – Projects that will not cause a “significant” impact on the environment
- Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) – When the project has been revised to eliminate all such impacts
- Environmental Impact Report (EIR) – If a project is identified with significant environmental effects to discuss its environmental setting, probable impacts, realistic means of reducing or eliminating those impacts, its cumulative effects, and alternatives to the project.
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