A Summary of Published Appellate Opinions Under CEQA By Steve Kostka, Barbara Schussman, Julie Jones, Marc Bruner & Christopher Tom


The CEQA cases published in 2013 continued to reflect a recognition that CEQA does not require perfection, but rather a reasonable effort to provide useful environmental information — a trend that continued from the prior year.  CEQA continues to be a focal point of judicial attention and this trend seems to be intensifying, with five CEQA cases now pending before the California Supreme Court.  The issues include the applicability of CEQA to a city’s adoption of an ordinance enacting a voter-sponsored initiative; the proper interpretation of the “unusual circumstances” exception to CEQA’s categorical exemptions; the scope, feasibility, and adequacy of mitigation; and whether CEQA is limited to an evaluation of the impacts caused by the project or instead also includes impacts on the project from existing environmental conditions.

CEQA Year in Review can be accessed here, or is available in pdf form here.