CEQA: Everyday Heroes Protect our Environment


California League of Conservation Voters, the Planning and Conservation League, and the Planning and Conservation League Foundation present:

'Everyday Heroes' reportEveryday Heroes Protect the Air We Breathe, the Water We Drink, and the Natural Areas We Prize: THIRTY-FIVE YEARS OF THE CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (full report in PDF format [8.83 MB])

About the report:

As the title suggests, CEQA has empowered Californians to protect California in all its diversity: from safeguarding the urban environment to conserving California’s magnificent coasts, forests, mountains, farmland, and more. It has also provided a critical framework for government accountability. No other environmental law has had such broad reach.

In this report, the Planning and Conservation League (PCL), the PCL Foundation, and CLCV compiled over 75 CEQA “success stories.” These include not only legal victories and settlements, but also projects that were improved through public input, mitigations, and alternatives analysis during the CEQA process.

These stories are organized by issue area and include case studies that provide real-world examples of benefits achieved through CEQA. One of CEQA’s greatest strengths is that it addresses the full range of environmental impacts, not just those in one issue area.

We began this report by asking community groups, activists, and leading practitioners for their stories and thoughts about CEQA. This report is truly a community effort.

As well, the stunning record of environmental achievement under CEQA is also a community effort. It is the legacy of now more than forty years of vision and commitment to the values of open government and environmental protection.

CEQA has empowered countless Californians to stand up to the powerful forces driving environmental devastation and protect this great state. This report is dedicated to everyone who has ever used CEQA to make California better for all of us.

View individual sections of the report:

  1. Introduction
  2. Air Quality
  3. The Urban Environment
  4. Planning
  5. Wildlife, Habitat, and Farmland
  6. Environmental Justice
  7. Toxics
  8. Infrastructure
  9. Water Policy
  10. Water Quality
  11. Groundwater
  12. Historical
  13. Perspectives

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2018 California Environmental Scorecard

New for the 2018 legislative session: The 45th annual California Environmental Scorecard rates elected officials on 2018, another successful year for the environment in spite of heavy opposition from polluting industry.

Find out how your legislators did in 2018 in CLCV's California Environmental Scorecard.