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California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

Published on: 2/21/2018 9:33 AM
Burrowing Owl
Environmental review involves the evaluation of the potential impact of a project upon the environment. Environmental review is a legal requirement for a variety of project types, including land development, change in land use, and change in regulations applicable to land use and development. Such evaluation is mandated by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)​.
The purpose of environmental review is to:
  • Inform governmental decision-makers and the public of the potential environmental effects of proposed activities.
  • Identify the ways that environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced.
  • Prevent environmental degradation resulting from proposed land developments by requiring changes in projects through the use of alternatives or mitigation measures when the County finds that the changes are feasible.
  • Disclose to the public the reasons why the County approved the project in the manner chosen if significant environmental effects remain.
Environmental Protection


Consultant Lists
  • Procedures for Consultants
    Initial studies for more complex projects or EIRs are prepared by private consultants contracted by and under the direction of the County and paid for by funds provided by the applicant. The process under which such documents are prepared is described in "Procedures for Consultants to Prepare Environmental Documents for Private Projects in Santa Clara County".
  • On-Call EIR Consultants
    A list of qualified EIR consultants.
  • On-Call Technical Consultants
    A list of qualified consultants (Arborist, Biological, Historical, Noise, and Traffic).
  • County-Approved Consultants
    A list of county approved consultants that can be used on projects if necessary.
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