An Inside Look: Public Interest Standing Under CEQA

June 30, 2016

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a self-executing statute that requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions. Because CEQA is a self-executing statute, state and local agencies are entrusted with the responsibility of complying with CEQA.

What has not emerged, however, is a meaningful analysis of scenarios under which a court may choose to deny a petitioner’s claim of public interest standing, despite the existence of legal precedent that appears to grant courts the authority to make such a ruling. The lack of clarity has largely contributed to what many perceive as the widespread abuse of CEQA litigation for commercial and anti-competitive purposes.

In the June edition of California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, Jonathan Shardlow and Martin Stratte discuss recent experiences from CEQA cases in which a petitioner’s claim of a public interest standing was challenged, and examples of tactics that will continue to allow CEQA to be used for improper purposes.