CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

CEQA Reform Remains in Question

Posted on 04/29/2013 @ 04:00 PM

Tags: Legal Climate, Legislature, Legal Reform

There have been some mixed messages this month about the prospects for reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) - a source of many frivolous lawsuits filed against development projects - during this year's legislative session. Governor Jerry Brown had some discouraging words, stating that reform was unlikely this year and that, "the appetite for CEQA reform is much stronger outside the state Capitol than it is inside."

He added however that, "this is not something you get done in a year, but I believe before I depart this stage we will see reform in CEQA." Read more here.

Meanwhile, Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) disputed the Governor's assessment and unveiled a new, modest proposal last week in his CEQA reform bill - SB 731. Steinberg's new proposal would prevent lawsuits against projects that meet statewide standardized thresholds for the environmental impacts of traffic, noise, and aesthetics, streamline the CEQA process for clean energy projects, and expedite the disposition of legal challenges.

Additionally, the mayors of two of California's largest cities - Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles and Chuck Reed of San Jose - chimed in last week with this op-ed.

Stay tuned...much more negotiation is expected.

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