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California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

The City of San Diego is required by state and federal law to provide an analysis and public disclosure of the potential direct and indirect environmental impacts of all projects that require a discretionary action.

The process for reviewing these projects complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and with the CEQA Guidelines (Title 14, Chapter 3 of the California Code of Regulations). In certain cases, the review must also meet federal requirements pursuant to the PDF icon National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 42 U.S. Code Sections 4321-4347.

The San Diego Municipal Code specifically assigns the responsibility for implementation of CEQA to the Planning Department, which is charged with maintaining independence and objectivity in its review and analysis of the environmental impacts of all projects under its purview. Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Planning Department, the City’s Development Services Department (DSD) is also authorized to implement CEQA for all private development projects, Capital Improvements Program projects and other DSD-initiated items.

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