Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[SDCPJ] ALERT: State House Poised to Repeal CA's Environmental Law (CEQA)

From: "LA Neighbors United" <info@LAneighbors.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 20:35:20 -0700
Subject: ALERT: State House Poised to Repeal CEQA

August 22, 2012

Not Just Reforming CEQA but Repealing It:
California State Leaders Prepare for Last-Minute Votes

Environmental leaders across the state were shocked this afternoon to
learn that a last-minute bill supposedly intended to "reform CEQA"
would essentially repeal California's landmark environmental law, the
California Environmental Quality Act.

The Assembly could vote on the bill as early as tonight, followed by
the State Senate.

It was expected that the bill would streamline CEQA review and
perhaps narrow the circumstances under which legal action could be
taken, but the actual bill goes much further and essentially repeals CEQA.

In Los Angeles, as an example, environmental impact reports under
CEQA no longer would be necessary for community plan updates,
nonconforming development projects or transit projects including rail
lines. Local agencies would merely have to explain whether any OTHER
laws (local, state or federal) apply to proposed projects, and assert
that proposed projects are consistent with other approved plans,
programs and laws, such as California's Sustainable Communities
Strategy or the state's greenhouse gas law.

In other words: No longer would any serious state environmental
review be required under CEQA; No longer would mitigation of
substantial negative impacts be required; and No longer would legal
action against local agencies be permitted. CEQA would exist in name only.

In another example, which is extreme but illustrative, CEQA standards
as they are known today no longer would apply in the case of a
nuclear power plant. Other applicable state and federal laws would
remain, but not CEQA. The proposed legislation makes no distinction
between an infill development project in an urbanized area and a
nuclear power plant. CEQA would be gutted for all project types
across the board.

"The California we've known and loved is going to take a big hit if
this legislation passes," says Cary Brazeman, founder of LA Neighbors
United, a Los Angeles community group. "Environmental social justice
will be set back. The community will be shut out of the process of
evaluating the impacts of project planning decisions. This
legislation is for the 1%, not the 99% of Californians who call our
great state home."

The full text of the proposed legislation, SB 317, is posted on the
LA Neighbors United website [<http://www.laneighbors.org/>] under
"Latest News." (see pages 9-10 of the PDF)

At this hour (early evening on Wednesday), state environmental
leaders are urging citizens to contact members of the State Senate.
The House is perceived to be more likely to approve the legislation.
There is hope that the State Senate will see this legislation for
what it is and deny it.

Please forward this email to friends and neighbors across the state. Thank you.


LA Neighbors United
Cary Brazeman, Founder
www.LAneighbors.org
310-205-3592

###


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