Gov. says CEQA bills are garbage

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 1, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On Wednesday, Governor Schwarzenegger signed two CEQA bills, AB 231 (Alyson Huber, D-Lodi) and SB 1456 (Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, but called them 99% garbage and derided the Legislature for not sending him something of substance to address the rampant abuses in the system.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), signed in 1970, requires state and local agencies to identify the significant environmental impacts of their actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. Every development project which requires a discretionary governmental approval requires at least some environmental review pursuant to CEQA, unless an exemption applies. The process is slow and burdensome. Many projects are held up due to frivolous lawsuits.

Below are some portions of the Governor’s scathing message:

    These bills (AB 231 and SB 1456) are 99% garbage. Though small steps in the right direction, neither I nor the Legislature should fool ourselves into thinking that these bills even make a dent in the problems caused by CEQA’s spaghetti-like requirements.

    I am greatly disappointed that the Legislature did not see fit to send to my desk a more substantive bill this legislative session designed to reduce widespread and rampant abuses plaguing the CEQA process—abuses which are made possible by complex and overly bureaucratic requirements in the present law.

    Regrettably, our environmental laws and regulations often stand in the way of our environmental goals. Moreover, opportunists use these laws to prevent reasonable management of environmental resources while simultaneously forcing huge expenditures of taxpayer dollars. As Governor, I have been frustrated to find that even our most routine environmental statutes present obstacles for public projects deemed good for the environment, ranging from things like building hiking trails to licensing renewable energy projects.

    There can be no doubt that the opportunistic user of CEQA is, by far, the worst offender, providing needless fodder to special interest groups bent on miring necessary and worthwhile development in years of litigation, uncertainty, and additional expense.

Complete text can be seen here:

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