California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

In today’s litigious society, even the best-prepared California Environmental Quality Act documentation is regularly challenged, delaying projects and escalating costs associated with obtaining approvals. Handling documentation with an eye toward litigation is the key to reducing disputes and enhancing the likelihood of success should litigation occur.
Best Best & Krieger LLP’s environmental lawyers guide both private and public agency clients through all aspects of the CEQA and land use entitlement process, assuring full compliance with CEQA’s requirements. From pre-project planning, document preparation, noticing and approvals through ensuing litigation — a single team helps at every stage, minimizing costs and delays while maximizing environmental protection. We prepare local CEQA guidelines for more than 70 public agencies, including cities, school districts, water districts and special districts, and are proficient at reviewing, preparing and revising environmental impact reports, notices of exemption, initial studies, negative declarations, findings and statements of overriding considerations and addenda. Additionally, we advise on mitigation monitoring and reporting plans.
Experienced in every type of project that breaks ground, BB&K lawyers have successfully advised on CEQA issues and challenges for diverse projects including:

  • Infrastructure
  • Commercial, residential and mixed-use projects
  • Industrial facilities and warehouse
  • Specific and general plans
  • Habitat conservation plans and projects

Skilled at the subtleties of CEQA review and related permitting, we tailor our analysis to reflect rapidly evolving laws, such as those involving greenhouse gas emissions, endangered species and other potential areas of vulnerability. Our lawyers’ deep understanding of CEQA enables us to represent clients before administrative boards and trial and appellate courts throughout California.
We fully grasp the interplay of CEQA and other environmental statutes, including the state and federal Endangered Species Acts, the National Environmental Policy Act and state and federal Clean Water Acts, enabling our clients to rely on one team at one firm to navigate them through CEQA and all related environmental law requirements.

Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Election Law | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Water
Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Coastal Act | California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: California Coastal Act | Election Law | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Eminent Domain | Environmental Litigation | Hazardous Waste | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Environmental Litigation | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) | Public Agency Litigation
Authored Articles & Publications May 26, 2021

Planning, Zoning and Development Legal Update

A Q&A With BB&K Of Counsel Todd Leishman and Partner Alisha Winterswyk

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 13, 2021

Court Grants Attorneys' Fees Against City in Development Litigation

CEQA Appellate Court Decision Analyzed by BB&K's Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Jan 06, 2021

Housing and Environmental New Laws

Part 2: New Laws Impacting California Public Agencies for 2021

Legal Alerts Dec 14, 2020

New Tribal Consultation Process for Multi-Family Housing

California’s AB 168 Adds Requirements to Approval Process

Legal Alerts Dec 09, 2020

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase for 2021

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Annual Adjustments

Event Nov 20, 2020

California Land Use Law & Policy Conference 2020

Argent Communications Group

BB&K Event Nov 09, 2020

AEP 2020 Virtual Conference

Association of Environmental Professionals

Legal Alerts Sep 08, 2020

DWR Releases Draft Guidebook for 2020 Urban Water Management Plans

Stakeholders Have Until Sept. 21 to Review and Comment

Legal Alerts Sep 02, 2020

New Filing Requirements for CEQA Documents

Significant Changes begin Nov. 3

Legal Alerts Sep 01, 2020

California Supreme Court Clarifies Ministerial vs. Discretionary Actions Under CEQA for Well Construction Permits

Decision in Protecting Our Water and Environmental Resources v. County of Stanislaus Case

Legal Alerts Jul 29, 2020

Caltrans Releases New Interim Guidance for Conducting Safety Impact Analyses Under CEQA

Guidance Brings Heightened Scrutiny

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 13, 2020

PublicCEO: BB&K Municipal Law Team Discusses New Public Agency Laws - Part 2

Land Use, Telecommunications, Environmental and More

Legal Alerts Jan 23, 2020

New Year's Resolution for Public Agencies: Prepare to use Vehicle Miles Traveled as the Metric for Transportation Impacts under CEQA

A Change in Methodology Will be Required Statewide July 1

Legal Alerts Jan 13, 2020

New Environmental and Telecommunications Laws

Part 3: California Laws Impacting Public Agencies for 2020

Legal Alerts Dec 10, 2019

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase for 2020

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Annual Adjustments

Legal Alerts Aug 20, 2019

California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Most Fundamental Question: What is a “Project?”

Union of Medical Marijuana Patients, Inc. v. City of San Diego

Authored Articles & Publications Apr 30, 2019

"California Water," Third Edition

Eric Garner’s Updates to Text on Historical, Legal and Policy Issues Affecting California Water Use

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 18, 2019

CEQA Compliance for Businesses

BB&K’s Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams Warn Why Businesses Should Heed CEQA’s Changing Processes

Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2019

Comprehensive Update to the State CEQA Guidelines

Approved by California Natural Resources Agency

Legal Alerts Jan 11, 2019

California Supreme Court Addresses Standard of Review for EIRs and Air Quality Impact Analyses

Decision in Sierra Club v. County of Fresno Case

Legal Alerts Jan 10, 2019

New Year, New Laws Impacting Public Agencies in California – Part II

Housing and Land Use and Environmental Laws Saw Changes in 2019

Legal Alerts Dec 13, 2018

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Annual CEQA Document Filing Fee Increase

Effective Jan. 1

Authored Articles & Publications Dec 13, 2018

Hastings Environmental Law Journal: CEQA’s Judicial Remedies and Reform Recommendations

BB&K’s Michelle Ouellette and Ali Tehrani Authored Law Review Article

Press Releases Oct 08, 2018

BB&K’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources Practice Expands

Firm Welcomes Four New Attorneys to Group

Legal Alerts Sep 19, 2018

Statutory Development Agreements Cannot be Passed by Initiative

California Appellate Court Gives Cities Less Flexibility

Press Releases Sep 17, 2018

Partner Charity Schiller a “Woman Worth Watching”

Profiles in Diversity Journal Recognizes Professionals for their Leadership

Legal Alerts Aug 27, 2018

Court Upholds Approval of Superstore Zoning Ordinance

California Appellate Court Supports the Broad Use of CEQA Addenda

Videos Aug 21, 2018

John C. Cotti Video Bio


Videos Aug 14, 2018

Christi Hogin Video Bio

Of Counsel

Videos Aug 14, 2018

Lauren Langer Video Bio


Legal Alerts Aug 06, 2018

Groundwater Extraction Permits Not Subject to CEQA in San Luis Obispo County

Approval is a Ministerial Action, not subject to CEQA, Appellate Court Finds

Press Releases Jun 22, 2018

BB&K Partner Lauren Langer on Daily Journal 40 Under 40 List

Annual List Recognizes Attorneys for their Achievements

Press Releases Jun 07, 2018

Isabel Safie and Jill Tremblay Return to 2018 So. Cal. Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

The BB&K Attorneys Acknowledged Again for Practice Achievements

Client Successes May 31, 2018

CEQA Challenge to Billboard Project Defeated

BB&K Attorneys Defended West Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd. Sign Approval

Authored Articles & Publications May 23, 2018

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow

Legal Decisions and Pending Guideline Updates Have Effect on the CEQA Review Process Write BB&K Attorneys Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

BB&K In the News May 16, 2018

Profile: BB&K CEQA Attorney Amanda Daams

Riverside Lawyer Magazine Features the RCBA Barristers' Past President

Authored Articles & Publications May 10, 2018

Recent and Upcoming Changes to CEQA

BB&K Attorney Amanda Daams Discusses the California Environmental Quality Act in a Riverside Lawyer Article

Client Successes May 02, 2018

Appellate Court Rejects Challenges to Residential Development in Montebello

BB&K Defends City from CEQA, Brown Act and Planning and Zoning Law Claims

Legal Alerts Apr 05, 2018

Parking Impacts Warrant Only Limited Consideration under CEQA for Infill Projects in Transit Priority Areas

Court Upholds City of Covina Infill Project

Mar 07, 2018

[WEBINAR] Update on the California Environmental Quality Act: What’s New for 2018

BB&K Environmental and Special Districts Law Webinar Series

Legal Alerts Dec 11, 2017

California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Fees

Filing Fees for CEQA Notices of Determination Increase Jan. 1

Legal Alerts Dec 01, 2017

Proposed “Comprehensive Update” to the State CEQA Guidelines Released

California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research Proposal Also Addresses SB 743

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 28, 2017

Town vs. Gown

How Land Use and Environmental Laws Mediate Disputes Between Universities, Colleges and Communities

Legal Alerts Sep 27, 2017

CEQA Compliance for Commercial Cannabis Business Licensing under MAUCRSA

Proposal Open to Comments

Legal Alerts Sep 11, 2017

Legislature May Expedite CEQA Review for Transportation Projects Connected to 2028 Olympic Games

Bill Introduced in Advance of Los Angeles Being Awarded the Games This Week

Legal Alerts Aug 03, 2017

CEQA Not Preempted in State-Owned Rail Project

California Supreme Court Decision Could Impact High-Speed Rail Project

Client Successes Jul 19, 2017

Mid County Parkway Freeway Infrastructure Project Prevails for Second Time

BB&K Attorneys Represent RCTC; Defeat Environmental Challenges

Legal Alerts Jul 14, 2017

Lead Agencies Need Not (Necessarily) Consider Governor’s Executive Orders When Analyzing Emissions

California Supreme Court Finding Serves as a Key Victory for Public Agencies

Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2017

CEQA Review of Cannabis Regulations

Comment Period Opens on Draft Program Environmental Impact Report of MCRSA and AUMA

Client Successes Jun 01, 2017

NEPA Victory for Freeway Infrastructure Project in Riverside County

BB&K Team Represents RCTC in Mid County Parkway Project Dispute

Client Successes May 25, 2017

Appellate Court Rejects CEQA Challenges to Development in Santa Ana

BB&K Team Represented City

Press Releases May 25, 2017

Partners Michelle Ouellette and Kelly Salt Named Top Women Lawyers

Daily Journal’s Annual List of California’s Best Female Attorneys

Press Releases Apr 20, 2017

Partner Lindsay Puckett Selected as a San Diego Daily Transcript 40 Under 40

Annual List Lauds Young Professionals in the Community

Client Successes Mar 30, 2017

Art Museum Can Proceed Following BB&K CEQA Victory

Court Strikes Down Challenges to City’s Approval of Pomona College Master Plan Update

Client Successes Mar 29, 2017

State Route 91 Express Lanes

BB&K Helped RCTC Pave the Way

Press Releases Mar 15, 2017

BB&K Environmental Team Wins California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award

Congratulations to Michelle Ouellette, Sarah Owsowitz and Jennifer Lynch

Press Releases Jan 20, 2017

Southern California Super Lawyers 2017

Five BB&K Partners Receive Honor

Legal Alerts Dec 13, 2016

CEQA Document Filing Fees Increase

Fee Increase for CEQA Notices of Determination Effective Jan. 1

Videos Nov 30, 2016

John Holloway Video Bio


Videos Nov 18, 2016

Steve M. Anderson Video Bio


Legal Alerts Nov 10, 2016

Evaluating a Project’s “Exacerbation” on Existing Environmental Hazards

Substantial Evidence Proving “Exacerbation” Required, California Appellate Court Says

Legal Alerts Oct 11, 2016

California Coastal Act Takes Priority Over Housing Density Laws

Court Decision Provides Guidance for Affordable Housing Units within the Coastal Zone

Legal Alerts Oct 05, 2016

Four New California Cap and Trade Bills Fund Programs

$900 Million in Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2016-17

Legal Alerts Sep 26, 2016

New Legislation Seeks to Expedite CEQA Administrative Record Process

Provides Opportunity to Streamline Litigation

Legal Alerts Sep 21, 2016

CEQA Allows Developers to Recover Administrative Record Costs when Reimbursing Agency

Appellate Victory for Developers and Public Agencies

Legal Alerts Sep 20, 2016

California Supreme Court Clarifies CEQA’s Subsequent Review Rules and Standard of Review

Decision Issued After Years of Uncertainty

Legal Alerts Aug 30, 2016

California Governor Extends CEQA Litigation Streamlining Provisions for Large Projects Promoting Job Creation and Innovative Technologies

Law Will Expedite Schedules for Qualified Projects

Legal Alerts Aug 29, 2016

Legislature Passes Pair of Significant New Climate Change Bills

Gov. Brown Expected to Sign Laws that Will Have CEQA Implications

Authored Articles & Publications Aug 24, 2016

Sweeping Six-Case Win For Water District Helps Secure Orange County’s Water Supply

BB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Authors a Summary of Recent Appellate Victory for Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Legal Alerts Aug 18, 2016

Air Quality District’s CEQA Thresholds Limited

California Appellate Court Weighs in Following State Supreme Court Decision

Legal Alerts Aug 15, 2016

New Guidance Issued for Analyzing Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Documents

Guidance May Impact Agency Actions Currently Undergoing NEPA Review and Joint NEPA/CEQA Documents

Legal Alerts Jun 28, 2016

Case Clarifies California’s Subdivision Map Act Requirements

Cities and Counties Impacted

Client Successes Jun 02, 2016

CEQA, Brown Act and Planning and Zoning Law Challenges Overcome in Development Project

On Behalf of the City of Montebello, BB&K Attorneys Successful in Lawsuit

Client Successes May 13, 2016

BB&K Secures CEQA Appellate Victory in Water Project

Six Challenges to Public-Private Partnership Effort Overcome

BB&K In the News May 11, 2016

BB&K Team’s CEQA Appellate Victory in Water Transfer Project

High-Profile Case That Impacts Water Customers Throughout Southern California Discussed in News Reports

Legal Alerts May 11, 2016

Sweeping Six-Case Win for Water District

Court Upholds Public-Private Groundwater Conservation and Recovery Project That Will Serve Customers Throughout Southern California

Legal Alerts Jan 25, 2016

Office of Planning and Research Proposes Revisions to State CEQA Guidelines

Comments Sought by Feb. 29 on the Transition from LOS to VMT

Legal Alerts Mar 03, 2015

California Supreme Court Makes Critical CEQA Ruling Regarding Categorical Exemptions

Court Clarifies the Unusual Circumstances Exception

Cookie Consent

By clicking “Agree,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance website navigation, analyze website usage and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookie Notice here.