COORDINATION OF STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT

California's experiences with the environmental act and the problems encountered in coordinating with the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) are described, the status of environmental legislation in other states is outlined, and the "California Coastal Zone Conservations Act of 1972" is briefly discussed. Twenty states have adopted some form of review by environmental impact statement (EIS), and the requirement is imposed by statute in 13 states. The statute modeled (in 1973) on the Policy Act of 1969 shows shortcomings when compared with California's experience. The regulation of private projects projects under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is discussed. The significant features of the California environmental impact process are summarized with special reference to the environmental study (the first environmental assessment that a project receives), the categorical exemption (the establishment of classes of projects which have been determined not to have significant environmental effect), the negative declaration (a finding that the project will not have a significant impact on the environment), the environmental impact report (EIR), and the notice of determination (This triggers the 30-day statute of limitation in which challenges to the project may be brought.) Four areas of concern where the state and Federal acts differ are: the scope of the act, the EIR/EIS content, retroactivity or treatment of ongoing projects, and limitations on challenging agency action. Problems encountered in complying with both CEQA and NEPA are discussed with special reference to the route adoption process, environmental considerations, litigation problems, and the preparation of the EIS by the State Highway Department.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00096054
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 2 1975 12:00AM