CEQA exemptions proposed

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Jan. 23, 2009 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

In order to jump start construction on several state highway projects, Governor Schwarzenegger wants to suspend provisions outlined in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  

Signed in 1970, CEQA requires a study regarding the environmental impact of any major construction project prior to approval of the project.  The Governor wants to waive the CEQA requirement for at least ten highway projects.  In addition, Schwarzenegger is seeking lawsuit immunity for these projects so that construction can start this year.  

According to supporters, over 21,000 jobs would be created and the state could save millions of dollars if CEQA was suspended for these projects.  Those in opposition, however, have stated that if CEQA is waived for these projects, these once strict provisions may become more and more lax.

Waiving CEQA will require Legislative approval, which may be difficult for the Governor to acquire since he vetoed the Democratic budget proposal earlier this year.  Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has agreed to suspend CEQA for eight projects, but has not agreed to grant lawsuit immunity.

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989