Thresholds of Significance in Environmental Planning

Determining the significance of environmental impacts under CEQA is one of the most difficult and important decisions agencies must make, yet many agencies have not developed a consistent approach to judging significance and agonize over this issue on a project-by-project basis. Thresholds of significance are a proven method of streamlining the CEQA process. Learn about significance thresholds, the process for developing them and success stories.

Topics include:

  • The concept of "significance" under CEQA
  • The definition of environmental thresholds
  • Advantages and disadvantages of developing thresholds
  • Criteria for determining significance
  • Reliance on other agencies' regulatory standards
  • Adopted thresholds
  • Legal problems
  • Discussing thresholds for greenhouse gases
  • Developing thresholds for any impact discipline
  • The relationship between thresholds, planning policies and standards
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