Positive CEQA bills

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 19, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Four California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reform bills have been introduced this year with bi-partisan authorship.  Two are Extraordinary Session (fiscal emergency) bills which are not expected to pass during the special session; however, two replicas, AB 1805 (Charles Calderon, D-City of Industry and Brian Nestande, R-Palm Desert) and SB 1010 (Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana and Dave Cogdill, R-Fresno), are expected to move in the regular session in March.  A myriad of important economic development projects are currently being held up due to frivolous lawsuits under the guise of the CEQA statute.  The public and private sector spend millions of dollars defending these lawsuits and the ultimate result is additional cost to consumers, lost jobs and a depressed economy.

This reform effort is not directed at gutting CEQA or even creating an exemption.  The hope is to provide litigation relief for priority projects that have already passed a CEQA review.

The proposal includes allowing public and private projects to apply for a “safe haven” from future lawsuits a) once they have completed the CEQA process, b) after public hearings are held in the proposed project’s region, and c) upon approval of the Secretary of Business Transportation and Housing Agency. The criteria in selecting the project are:

  1. The  number and quality of jobs that will be created by the project,
  2. The amount of capital investment made by the project, and
  3. A balance  between projects sponsored by public and private entities.

CMTA has joined forces with a broader coalition in support of both bills.

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