Jerry’s Done With CEQA Reform, But Darrell Isn’t
California Planning & Development Report – April 25, 2013
By William Fulton
Jerry Brown may have given up on CEQA reform this year, but Darrell Steinberg has not. The Senate leader released details of his proposed reform of the California Environmental Quality Act yesterday. It’s not sweeping reform. Rather, it contains a series of incremental changes designed to speed projects along. These include statewide significance treshholds on some topics including traffic; some reforms to CEQA litigation procedures; and $30 million in annual funding to the Strategic Growth Council to continue providing statewide planning grants.
Link to article
California lawmaker Rubio leaves Legislature for Chevron job
Los Angeles Times – February 22, 2013
By Patrick McGreevy
State Sen. Michael J. Rubio, who was leading the Legislature’s effort to make California’s environmental laws more business-friendly, abruptly resigned from office Friday to accept a government-affairs job with Chevron Corp. A special election will be called to fill the Central Valley Seat.
Link to article
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s landmark environmental law. While CEQA does not directly regulate land uses, it does require state and local agencies to follow a protocol of analysis, public disclosure and mitigation of potential impacts for every proposed project. In recent years, CEQA has come under attack for hindering efforts to increase infill, transit-oriented development, bicycle plans, and affordable housing, amongst other things. Previous legislative sessions included proposals to amend CEQA; many of the amendments exempted certain types of projects or streamlined their review. In the final days of the 2012 legislative session, Senator Michael Rubio of Bakersfield introduced a proposal designed to make sweeping changes to CEQA. SB 317 would have allowed for more projects to bypass CEQA and would have severely limited future litigation. The bill was blocked, and Senator Rubio has now left the Senate, but Senate President pro Tem Darrel Steinberg has stated he is committed to CEQA reform, and a number of bills have been introduced in the 2013 legislative session. Click here to download a partial list of bills related to CEQA streamlining.
- Visit The Planning and Conservation League’s CEQA webpage.
- Watch a video from California Forward: Time for California to Get on the CEQA Reform Bus?