The Court of Appeal upheld an EIR prepared for a new mining operation. The primary challenge to the EIR focused on the lead agency’s adoption of significance thresholds for the project that were different than the significance thresholds provided in the State CEQA Guidelines. The Court held that (1) lead agencies are not required to use the significance thresholds in the CEQA Guidelines, (2) lead agencies may adopt their own significance thresholds for a particular project even if such thresholds have not been adopted on a general basis applicable to all projects in the lead agency’s jurisdiction, and (3) the lead agency is not required to provide a rationale for their significance thresholds in the CEQA document (although always a good idea to do so). The Court also upheld a significance threshold concerning the project’s impact on groundwater supplies, because the threshold accounted for impacts to the groundwater basin as a whole. Download Opinion.