CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY ACT (CEQA)
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
-- Thomas Jefferson.
The Silverstein Law Firm actively litigates cases under the California Environmental Quality Act, also known as CEQA.
On behalf of our clients, The Silverstein Law Firm challenges the adequacy and legality of all CEQA documents, including Notices of Exemption, Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Environmental Impact Reports. To see a CEQA writ won by The Silverstein Law Firm against the Los Angeles Unified School District, CLICK HERE.
The Environmental Impact Report, or EIR, is the heart of CEQA. According to the California Supreme Court, an EIR's "purpose is to inform the public and its responsible officials of the environmental consequences of their decisions before they are made. Thus, the EIR protects not only the environment but also informed self-government." Laurel Heights Improvement Assn. v. Regents of University of California (1988) 47 Cal.3d 376, 392.
In the face of government misconduct, the Supreme Court has made clear that it is "too late to argue for a grudging, miserly reading of CEQA." Bozung v. Local Agency Formation Com. (1975) 13 Cal.3d 263, 274. Nonetheless, government and developers frequently seek to bypass the critical protections and public disclosures mandated by CEQA.
The Silverstein Law Firm has also developed expertise in litigating CEQA challenges as a defense to eminent domain actions. To see a press release describing The Silverstein Law Firm's successful use of CEQA to defeat eminent domain in Monterey Park, CLICK HERE.