An environmental impact report (EIR) is a detailed analysis of how the environment would be affected by a plan or a development project. It analyzes impacts on a range of environmental resources, identifies alternatives to the proposed plan or project, and presents ways to reduce or avoid environmental impacts. Under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), a general plan update is considered a project, and thus requires an EIR to be completed in conjunction with the plan. Community members and other government agencies can contribute at two different phases in the EIR process. The first phase is the Scoping Period which starts with the release of a Notice of Preparation (NOP) declaring that an EIR is going to be prepared and asks the public to comment on the scope of the EIR. The second phase is when the Draft EIR is released, and public comments are invited. Public comment is also welcomed when the Final EIR is considered at public hearings before City decision-makers.