Course Description

Course ID: 
Policy & Regulations
Continuing Education Units: 

This workshop provides an applied overview of the California Environmental Quality Act, with an emphasis on the process and technical requirements of an environmental impact assessment. The course will begin with a brief background on environmental impact assessment in the U.S. and of CEQA's regulatory context, followed by an overview of various approaches used in scoping and preparing environmental impact assessments under CEQA. Students will examine the documents required under CEQA and the roles of key players involved. Students will also determine the adequacy of CEQA documents as they relate to environmental settings, impact assessment, mitigation development, significance thresholds, and data sources. Lastly, the course will include a discussion of the documents and processes for projects regulated by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). 

After completing this course, participants will be able to:
- Understand and participate in CEQA evaluations
- Integrate CEQA environmental review into project approval processes
- Explain the environmental impact assessment requirements of CEQA
- Effectively review and comment on CEQA documents
- Identify and work with the various players in resolving CEQA issues

"[Richard Grassetti is] the first person I will call if I have CEQA questions." Anonymous, October 13, 2015

"This course presented CEQA in a very interesting simplified approach and an overall view of applications of CEQA to projects"  R. Bedi May 5, 2015

"Great energy, a wealth of knowledge and real world experience, humor.  I most appreciated his openness to thoughtful answers to all questions; and to the ethical foundation of CEQA work." M. Oakes, September 2013

"[The course gave me] more in depth knowledge of CEQA, the process, and new potential changes [completing the course] will enable me to more effectively conduct my job."- C. Peterson, Feb 2013

Registration: (*reduced tuition is available to employees of Native American tribes, government agencies, and nonprofits; students; and NAEP members). If you are having trouble registering online, please call Northwest Environmental Training Center at 425-270-3274, ext 103.

Please wait to receive a course confirmation email, roughly one month prior to the class, before making any travel arrangements.

Participants will receive a course manual with course proceedings, tutorials, and reference materials.

Intended Audience: 

This course is designed for professionals seeking a greater understanding of CEQA in order to form publicly acceptable and legally defensible conclusions. Environmental professionals, planners, engineers, consultants, public officials, decision-makers, and others responsible for interpreting the adequacy of environmental impact reports and studies required under CEQA will benefit from this course, as will members of citizens organizations who want to gain an in-depth understanding of the CEQA process and develop technical skills in the reviewing of CEQA documents.

Once your order has been placed, you are subject to our cancellation policy regardless of the status of your invoice.

  • 31 days prior to training -> 100% refund
  • 30-16 days prior to training -> 50% refund
  • 15 - start of course -> No refund available

Attendee replacement acceptable at anytime.

Course registration fees and cancellation policy are subject to change without notice.

More Information

Course Topics

Review of CEQA Basics
• History of CEQA
• Walk-through of CEQA process
• How/when NEPA fits in

CEQA Documents - hands-on examination and discussion
• Initial study and environmental assessment
• Negative Declarations, Mitigated Negative Declarations, and Exemptions
• Draft Environmental Impact Reports
• Final Environmental Impact Reports
• The CEQA findings
• Relevant NEPA documents

Overview of the Analytical Process for Environmental Impact Assessment
• Identifying: setting, impacts, mitigation, alternatives

California Land Use Regulations and Other Common Permits - and their relationship to CEQA (and NEPA)
• General plan
• Zoning
• Other entitlements

Common Environmental Impact Review Deficiencies
CEQA's Environmental Impact Assessment Process
• Identifying the project under CEQA
• Scoping
• Determining significance
• Screening
• Public review of the draft EIR
• Preparation of the final EIR
• EIR certification, findings, and project approval under CEQA
• Post-decision monitoring
• CEQA time limits
• Summary of major differences between CEQA & NEPA processes
• Citizens' remedies

Key Players and their Roles in the CEQA Process
• Public agencies
• Environmental consultants and other experts
• Political players
• The public
• Interacting with the players
• Successful project management strategies

Critical Review of CEQA Documents
• Reviewing documents for content and regulatory compliance
• Identifying deficiencies in environmental impact documents
• Lessons learned from CEQA case law


What to Bring

Please bring a pen or pencil, and notepad if you would like to take notes (you may also choose to take notes in your book). Lunch will be on your own, but drinks and snacks will be provided throughout the day.

Billing Information

In order to guarantee a space in a course, the tuition must be paid in full TWO WEEKS before the first day of the course by either check or credit card. State and government agencies paying with a purchase order are allowed payment under the two-week time frame if a copy of the purchase order is received by NWETC.

If You Need to Cancel


  • With 31 or more days notice, we will offer a 100% refund or credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With 30-8 days notice, we will offer a course credit towards a future course. The credit is good for one year and may be applied to any course.
  • With fewer than 8 days notice, there is no course credit available

*Please note that attendee replacement is welcome at any time

Disability Accommodations

Disability Accommodations:

No upcoming offerings

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