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Frequently Asked Questions —CEQA

Select a topic to see frequently asked questions and their answers.

  • What is CEQA?

    CEQA, or the California Environmental Quality Act, sets statewide policies that require state and local agencies to identify, avoid or lessen significant environmental impacts.

  • What is the process?

    A public agency will determine if a proposed activity is considered a “project.” If the proposed activity is a project and not exempt from CEQA then the following process is initiated: 

    1. Public agency evaluates the project to determine if there is a possibility that the project may have a significant effect on the environment.
    2. Lead agency prepares initial study to determine to issue either an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or a Negative Declaration.
    3. Comments are issued. A decision to assign either the EIR or Negative Declaration is made.
    4. State and local agencies will come to a decision about the project. State agencies will file a Notice of Determination with the Office of Planning & Research, while local agencies will file Notice of Determination with County Clerk.
  • What are the general CEQA statutes and guidelines?