CEQA Deskbook - Third Edition
A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Comply with the California Environmental Quality Act

By Ronald Bass , Kenneth Bogdan and Terry Rivasplata

  • Item# Q29
  • ISBN: 978-0-923956-48-6
  • Copyright (c) 2012
  • Paperback
  • 398 pp.
  • Price: $75.00
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CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition was named 2014 Outstanding Environmental Resource Document by the Association of Environmental Professionals, California Chapter, described in the award citation as "A must have reference book for anybody in our profession!"

This award-winning book is a veritable "soup to nuts" guide to CEQA and the environmental review process. It contains easy-to-understand explanations of the key policies, players, procedures, and practices related to CEQA compliance. It takes the reader through the process from the Initial Study and Notice of Preparation all the way to agency decision-making and litigation. The book also explains how to prepare useful and legally sufficient environmental documents, including Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs).


Now available as a free download
2017 Update for CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition

The 2017 Update by Antero Rivasplata includes new discussions of the administrative record and subsequent environmental documents. These discussions now reflect the optional provisions for preparing a concurrent administrative record established by Senate Bill 122 (Chapter 476, Statutes of 2016) and the California Supreme Court's decision on a subsequent document in Friends of the College of San Mateo Gardens v. San Mateo County Community College District (2016) 1 Cal.5th 937.

This 2017 Update includes changes to the 2013 Addendum
Download your free copy here.

Now available as a free download
2016 Update for CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition

This Update includes all key court decisions during 2015, such as the California Supreme Court's decisions on impacts of the environment on the project (California Building Industry Assoc. v. Bay Area Air Quality Management Dist.), greenhouse gas analysis (Center for Biological Diversity v. California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife), and the obligation to mitigate impacts (City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of California State University). Use this new Update, along with the 2015 Update and 2013 Addendum to keep your copy of CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition current.
Download your free copy here.

Now available as a free download
2015 Update for CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition

This Update contains a summary of Assembly Bill 52's new requirements for consultation with California Native American tribes, new decisions by the California Supreme Court on the adoption of voter-initiated ordinances and the baseline for CEQA analysis, and an advisory about a San Diego court decisions that may muddy the waters with regard to how greenhouse gas emissions reductions are analyzed.
Download your free copy here.

Now available as a free download
2013 Addendum for CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition

This Addendum updates CEQA Deskbook, 3rd edition to include legislation and key court decisions on CEQA from 2013, including the California Supreme Court's Neighbors for Smart Rail decision on baseline.
Download your free copy here.

In addition to the information provided below you may also view the following:

See the Front Cover

See the Back Cover

Read the Preface, Chapters At-a-glance, and the detailed TOC (pdf)



CEQA Deskbook is unique...
  • The only easy-to-understand, illustrated guide to CEQA
  • Used by professionals throughout California
  • Recognized by the Association of Environmental Professionals with an Outstanding Environmental Resource Document award
  • Cited as an authoritative source by the California courts
  • A popular textbook in professional workshops and university courses

  • All legislative amendments through 2012
  • The most recent version of the State CEQA Guidelines, including revisions related to greenhouse gas emissions
  • Sidebar discussion of key court decisions
  • Practice tips addressing commonly occurring issues
  • New and revised flow charts and diagrams explaining important elements of CEQA
  • Advice about integrating CEQA with NEPA and other environmental laws
  • Hard-to-find studies of CEQA's effectiveness
  • Pointers for successful compliance

  • Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts in CEQA documents
  • New Chapters and expanded discussions on Initial Studies, Negative Declarations and Mitigated Negative Declarations
  • Additional case tables summarizing key court decisions
  • Coverage of new legislation and CEQA Guidelines revisions
  • Practice Tips for successful implementation of CEQA
With the CEQA Deskbook, users will be able to...
  • Understand the entire environmental review process under CEQA
  • Determine if a project is subject to CEQA
  • Learn when to prepare Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Environmental Impact Reports, including Program and Master EIRs
  • Streamline CEQA through the use of "tiering" and other tools
  • Prepare complete, useful, and legally sufficient documents
  • Develop an appropriate range of alternatives
  • Write adequate, feasible, and effective mitigation measures
  • Critically review and evaluate CEQA documents
  • Integrate CEQA with other environmental laws, including NEPA

The CEQA Deskbook is ideal for:
  • Environmental specialists
  • State and local agency staff and decision makers
  • Attorneys specializing in environmental law
  • Students
  • Concerned citizens who want to effectively influence the environmental decisions that shape their communities
  • Anyone looking for a reader-friendly overview of CEQA


Ronald E. Bass, J.D., AICP is a Senior Consultant with ICF International (formerly Jones & Stokes Associates). Mr. Bass has a professional and academic background in environmental law and planning. He has participated in a broad variety of planning and environmental studies under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and other state and federal environmental laws. He provides strategic advice, peer review and issue resolution related to the implementation of CEQA and NEPA. Mr. Bass is a frequent speaker at professional workshops on environmental impact assessment. Mr. Bass received a J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University, Washington, D.C.; an M.A. in environmental planning from California State University, Sacramento; and a B.A. in Anthropology from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Mr. Bass is coauthor, with Mr. Bogdan, of THE NEPA BOOK: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. He is also a co-author of theCEQA chapters of California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice and a member of the on the editorial board of the California Environmental Law Reporter, published by LexisNexis/Mathew Bender.

Kenneth M. Bogdan, Esq., is environmental counsel and environmental education team leader and project director at ICF International. Ken has more than 21 years of experience analyzing issues regarding compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and other federal and state environmental laws and regulations. Whether serving as project director, manager, or through strategy development, Ken assists clients and in-house staff with understanding the complexities of environmental permitting requirements. As leader of ICF's environmental education program, Ken has conducted scores of CEQA and other environmental law training courses during the past decade, including tailored land use planning and CEQA courses. Ken graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Management from Rutgers University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law.

Mr. Bogdan, as well as being co-author of The NEPA Book: A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, is an author of "Wetlands, Streams and Other Waters;" and the League of Cities: Guide to Conservation Planning in California. He has authored numerous CEQA and other environmental law case reviews for the "California Environmental Law Reporter," published by LexisNexis/Mathew Bender.

Terry Rivasplata, AICP, is a technical director at ICF International, specializing in CEQA, land use planning, and environmental education. He manages the preparation of EIRs, Negative Declarations, and NEPA documents. In addition, he works with California planning law, Williamson Act, and zoning issues. In addition to being an instructor in CEQA and NEPA through the UC Extension, he is the editor of the Association of Environmental Professionals' "Environmental Assessor" quarterly. He is a past director of the State Clearinghouse in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and, in addition to participating in the CEQA Guidelines amendments of the 1990s, was a co-author of several editions of the General Plan Guidelines while working there. Prior to OPR, Mr. Rivasplata worked as a county planner. Mr. Rivasplata received a B.S. from the University of California, Davis.