Who Ensures CEQA is Being Followed Properly?
In a way, the people of California bear this responsibility. But, ultimately, it is the judicial system that ensures public agencies are fulfilling their obligations under CEQA. There is no CEQA “police” agency as many members of the public mistakenly assume. Rather it is any individual or organization’s right to pursue litigation against a public agency that is believed to have violated its CEQA responsibilities.
Although the OHP can, and often does, comment on documents prepared for CEQA purposes (or the lack thereof), it is important that the public be aware that such comments are merely advisory and do not carry the force of law. Comments from state agencies and other organizations with proven professional qualifications and experience in a given subject can, however, provide valuable assistance to decision-makers as well as provide substantive arguments for consideration by a judge during CEQA litigation.