Monday, April 1, 2013

Reforming California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is in process

Opinion by Sue Lempert, former Mayor of San Mateo, in her regular Monday column.

The Daily Journal/Sue Lempert, 4/1/12., "Op-Ed:  Is it time to revisit CEQA?

"State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, has a major challenge. He’s the new chair of the important Environmental Quality committee, which among other things, will be considering possible changes to the California Environmental Quality Act, also known as CEQA.  Gov. Jerry Brown called for reform of CEQA in his State of the State address. Now, state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell  Steinberg is introducing Senate Bill 731 to do just that. Both the governor and Steinberg feel the act has been used or misused for corporate competition (one corner gas station trying to stop a competitor from adding more pumps), by unions to force project labor agreements, and by opponents of infill development and transportation projects to delay or stop work.     

....  This is a new assignment for Hill. The former chair of the committee, Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, recently resigned from the state Senate to take a job with Chevron. He was a conservative senator, albeit a Democrat, and his approach to CEQA change was quite different from Hill, who has been a longtime environmental advocate. Rubio wanted to use a standards-based approach which would allow state or local government laws to prevail. Hill was against this and it will not be included in the proposed legislation. Instead, the bill will probably include language to speed up environmental review for renewable energy projects, bike lanes, mass transit initiatives and other “green” projects as well as cut back on lawsuits designed to slow down and block construction."   Read article.  

May the best bird win
Reference - California Environmental Quality Act,  and  Wikipedia.

Related articles -   San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2/13, "CEQA overhaul fight begins."  "What could be the most contentious issue considered at the Capitol this year already has proponents and opponents hiring lobbyists and media strategists to start public campaigns - and there hasn't even been a bill introduced. The issue is potential changes to the California Environmental Quality Act, commonly known as CEQA, the 40-plus-year-old law that perhaps has been more responsible than any other in regulating development in the state. Backers of the changes want fewer legal hurdles to development because they say the rules stifle projects that are good for California's economy.    Fix Pacifica reprints.  Note:  The lower photograph is from 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

No comments: