Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


Today’s environmentally conscious world demands that those who undertake construction projects consider their effects on air and water quality, the flora and fauna, and where people will live, among other public concerns. Chief in ensuring that these impacts are considered before construction in the Golden State is the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA is “the cornerstone of California’s environmental laws,” requiring mitigation, public comment, and controls approval of construction projects that may potentially have a significant effect on the environment. At its core, CEQA is a comprehensive environmental protection and informational statute designed to ensure that the developer of a proposed project adequately disclose its plans before permanently altering the environment. CEQA further ensures that both the public and governmental decisionmakers are made aware of a project’s potentially significant environmental impacts. However, CEQA’s goals are threatened by the use of the design-build (DB) project delivery method.