CEQA Statutes and Guidelines

CEQA is codified in the California Public Resources Code (Sections 21000 et.al.). Originally enacted and signed into law by then Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970, the CEQA statute contains detailed rules governing the content of environmental documents and the environmental review process by state and local agencies. The statute also provides definitions of key terms, exemptions, and special rules affecting litigation of challenges to projects based on CEQA. Changes to the CEQA statute are introduced nearly every legislative session. OPR will describe new laws affecting CEQA on this page as they are signed into law by the Governor.

Guidelines interpreting the CEQA statute, known as the CEQA Guidelines, are contained in Sections 15000 and following of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. OPR developed, and the Secretary for the Natural Resources Agency adopted, the CEQA Guidelines as administrative regulations. The CEQA Guidelines provide additional detail regarding the requirements contained in the CEQA statute, and also reflect interpretations of the statute contained in published court decisions. The CEQA Guidelines are binding on all public agencies in California. OPR and the Natural Resources Agency periodically update the CEQA Guidelines to address recent changes in the law.

Links to the CEQA statute and Guidelines are found in the following pages: