Practical CEQA: A Stepwise Guide to California Environmental Quality Act Compliance
Practical CEQA: A Stepwise Guide to California Environmental Quality Act Compliance
Antero (Terry) Rivasplata and Greta Brownlow

Practical CEQA: A Stepwise Guide to California Environmental Quality Act Compliance

Regular price $80.00


  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-35-8
  • Copyright (c) 2020
  • Paperback
  • Price: $80.00

Kindle e-book available at

  • ISBN: 978-1-938166-36-5
  • Price: $40.00


A step-by-step reference for public agency staff, consultants, attorneys, developers, and citizens seeking to understand the environmental review process. Explains CEQA from start to finish in plain language. Offers practical advice to help CEQA practitioners make their way through the process.

With this book users will be better able to:

  • Understand the environmental review process and determine the roles and responsibilities of state and local agencies
  • Determine whether CEQA applies to proposed projects and when exemptions are applicable
  • Learn when a Negative Declaration is appropriate or when an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be prepared
  • Prepare a legally defensible Negative Declaration, Mitigated Negative Declaration, or EIR
  • Prepare a “program level” EIR and understand how to streamline CEQA by “tiering” later analyses from that EIR
  • Write feasible, enforceable, and effective mitigation measures
  • Meaningfully review, evaluate, and comment on CEQA documents prepared by other public agencies
  • Prepare joint CEQA/NEPA documents to satisfy both CEQA and the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

About the Authors

Terry Rivasplata has 40 years of experience in land use planning and CEQA analysis. At ICF, he has prepared CEQA documents for projects ranging in size and complexity from
school expansions to California’s high-speed rail project. Terry currently provides strategic advice to project staff and clients on CEQA compliance. Previously, Terry worked in the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research providing technical
assistance to cities and counties regarding the state’s planning laws. He wrote various CEQA- and planning-related technical advisories, including comprehensive updates of the State CEQA Guidelines and three updates of the General Plan Guidelines in the 1990s. Terry is a popular instructor for the University of California, Davis Continuing and Professional Education program, teaching several courses on CEQA. He writes the
Association of Environmental Professionals’ “Environmental Assessor” that summarizes current CEQA case law. He was a co-author of the CEQA Deskbook, 3rd Edition, published by Solano Press.

Principal, ICF
Greta Brownlow has more than 20 years of experience as an environmental planner
preparing CEQA documents for government agencies, private developers, educational
institutions, transit agencies, and utility providers. Greta is a Principal in the Environment & Planning Division at ICF, where she manages and provides strategic oversight for the preparation of CEQA documents. Greta’s role at ICF includes developing and leading internal professional development trainings and teaching
courses in CEQA compliance for the University of California,Davis Continuing and Professional Education program. In addition to a Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, Greta earned her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Education, with a focus on community engagement in new school planning in Los Angeles. Outside of ICF, Greta teaches courses in Environmental Planning at San Jose State University and previously taught
Environmental Impact Analysis at California State UniversityEast Bay.



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