Environmental Terms

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) - The state law governing the requirements and process used to review and evaluate a project's potential environmental impacts. 

Categorical Exemption - A determination made by the county Environmental Coordinator that the project is within a class of projects that have been determined to not have a significant effect on the environment and are declared to be categorically exempt from the requirement for the preparation of environmental documents. 

Environmental Impact Report (EIR) - A study to assess the potential environmental impact of a project when it is determined that a project may have potential substantial adverse impacts on the environment. 

General Rule Exemption -  A determination made by the county that as a general rule, no impacts are associated with a project. 

Initial Study - The county’s review of a project's potential environmental impacts to determine if those impacts may be substantial and if an EIR or an ND must be prepared for a project.  

Mitigation Measures - An action to avoid, minimize, compensate for, or rectify any potentially adverse environmental impact of a proposed development project. 

Negative Declaration (ND) - A written legal statement from the county briefly describing the reasons why a project will not have a significant adverse impact on the environment.