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Analyzing Climate Change Impacts Under CEQA and NEPA

Perhaps the biggest climate change policy issue facing our clients is whether and how greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should be addressed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We are recognized as leaders in analyzing GHG and climate change impacts under these two laws. And, we are carefully monitoring how the enforcement of California Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32) will change GHG regulation in California.

Our work in this area grew out of our representation of California’s harbors, ports, airports, and utility and energy companies—entities who are acutely affected by mandates to reduce emissions of GHGs and other pollutants. Our qualifications in this area now include:

  • Advise on the disclosure and quantification of a project’s GHG emissions and their potential adverse environmental impacts,
  • Develop and apply standards to determine if the project’s emissions will have a “significant” impact,
  • Develop effective and enforceable mitigation measures and plans to reduce emissions, and
  • Advise on the use of exemptions and negative declarations for projects with potential global warming impacts.