Environmental Review and Permit Process

Environmental Review Process

The Crane Valley Seismic Retrofit Project requires review under both the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the state California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review processes.

Download or View Project NEPA Document: Final Environmental Assessment
Download or View Project CEQA Document:
Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR)


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was implemented in 1969 to ensure environmental considerations were included in decisions of proposed governmental actions and evaluate reasonable alternatives to those actions. NEPA is implemented by and Environmental Assessment (EA) and when required, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the lead agency preparing the documents required under NEPA. NEPA requires the lead agency review the project and issue and Environmental Assessment (EA). Federal regulations provide for the preparation of an EA to determine whether or not the proposed action fits within the definition of actions that require an EIS. An EA considers the impacts of the proposed action and alternatives.

EAs and EISs are environmental documents written under the direction of a federal agency to aid in decision making. They explore feasible alternatives to a proposed action, and the likely environmental consequences of those actions.

Click here to view or download Crane Valley Dam Project Final EA Document .


In 1970, California enacted the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as a system of checks and balances for land-use development decisions in California. In California, land use projects and development is coordinated with the environmental review process under CEQA. The retrofit project for Crane Valley Dam entails building onto and modifying an existing dam is required to undergo environmental review through the CEQA process.

The Environmental review process is intended to provide the public with disclosure of the worst case environmental impacts a proposed land use project. The review process analysis is published in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR records the scope of the project and analysis of all known environmental effects.

Under CEQA, a “lead agency” must be identified to oversee the EIR process. The agency with the greatest authority over the project will usually assume the lead agency role. Once the lead agency is identified, all other involved agencies, whether state or local, become responsible or trustee agencies. Responsible and trustee agencies then consider the environmental document prepared by the lead agency and do not prepare their own environmental documents.

An Environmental Impact Report is required for the Crane Valley Dam project and the Department of Water Resources (DWR), Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) is the lead agency. DWR issued and approved a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR). Click here to view or download the FEIR .