In California, there is an act called the California Environmental Quality Act. This act is abbreviated as CEQA, and it is something that you should be aware of if you are running a business in California.

CEQA was enacted in 1970, and since then, it has been in place to require that state and local agencies identify any significant environmental impacts caused by their actions. CEQA also asks that agencies avoid creating negative impacts on the environment when possible.

Does your business need to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act?

Not all businesses have to comply with CEQA, but it does apply to certain activities performed by local public and state agencies. Public agencies need to comply with CEQA when they participate in “projects,” which are activities that must receive discretionary approval from a governmental agency. For example, if you want to develop land in California, the development would likely be subject to the provisions in CEQA. CEQA provides an environmental review following the proposal, so it can verify that the environment will see minimal changes as a result of the new activity.

Interestingly, the public agencies are expected to comply with CEQA with little oversight. CEQA is considered a self-executing statute, which means that provisions are only enforced by the public through the threat of litigation or actual litigation.

If your business needs to meet the standards set by CEQA, it could be a complex situation. You may want to look into your legal obligations, so that you can avoid facing litigation as a result of noncompliance.