Environmental Assessments and Notices
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), requires state and local agencies to identify significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department analyzes potential environmental impacts of Port of Los Angeles development projects. If significant impacts are identified, strategies for reducing such impacts are examined. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is a report of this analysis, is presented to the Board of Harbor Commissioners before any decision is made on the project. The EIR allows the Board to make an informed choice, while balancing the impact of Port development on the environment and the financial benefits of the project to the City of Los Angeles.
Whenever there is major federal involvement in Port development projects in the form of federal funding or permits, the Port must also comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA is similar to CEQA, as it requires analysis of the environmental impacts of a project prior to federal action on the project. The preparation of such an analysis is called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Sometimes, CEQA and NEPA documents are combined into a joint EIR/EIS.