What is an overview of the EIR process?

Overview of EIR Process


What is an EIR?
In 1970, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) became state law. CEQA requires state and local agencies within California to analyze proposed construction projects and provide an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) detailing potential environmental impacts and outlining measures to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.

What is the purpose on an EIR?
An EIR is for project decision-makers and the public to understand environmental impacts of a proposed project and review plans to mitigate those impacts. 

What does an EIR do?

EIR Analysis


The basis of EIR analysis:

  • Based on facts; not speculation 
  • Addresses long-term adverse physical changes to the environment, focusing on public resources
  • Assessment of those impacts is based on established criteria

The EIR will:

  • Describe and analyze the significant environmental effects of the proposed project
  • Identify any available alternatives to mitigate (lessen) significant environmental effects
  • Discuss feasible ways to reduce or avoid any adverse environmental effects

What kinds of impacts does an EIR typically analyze?
EIR’s analyze a broad range of environmental topics such as:

  • Aesthetics/Visual Resources
  • Agricultural Resources
  • Air Quality/GHG
  • Biological Resources
  • Cultural Resources
  • Geology & Soils
  • Hazards
  • Hydrology & Water Quality
  • Land Use & Planning
  • Mineral Resources
  • Noise & Vibration
  • Population & Housing
  • Public Services
  • Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Utilities & Service Systems
  • Energy

When an EIR process commences, there is a scoping period during which the community has the opportunity to provide input on what types of impacts to public resources should be studied in the EIR.

How can the community respond to the EIR?

CEQA requires the opportunity for formal public comment at two junctures during the EIR:  scoping and following the release of the draft EIR.

  • Scoping comment period- At the commencement of the EIR process, a 30-day period gives the community an opportunity to provide input regarding which environmental topics should be analyzed in the project’s EIR. During this period, a formal public meeting will be held to allow comments to be made in person.
  • Draft EIR comment period The Draft EIR was released on March 8, 2021. There is a 90-day period when the public can submit comments about the EIR. All comments about the Draft EIR that are received during this period will be included and responded to in the Final EIR.

Click here to submit a Draft EIR public comment