Two CEQA-Reform Bills Signed By Governor

Brown's main reason for signing the bills: "Too Damn Many Regulations". One gives environmental clearance for the AEG stadium in downtown LA, and the other other accelerates environmental review for projects costing at least $100 million.

Brown: "We're gonna remove some regulations, we're gonna speed things up and we're gonna protect the environment. But we're also gonna do it in a practical way, because there are too damn many regulations. Let's be clear about that!" (Audio available).

The two bills the governor signed were SB 292: California Environmental Quality Act: administrative and judicial review procedures: City of Los Angeles - stadium and AB 900: Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011. One CEQA-reform bill remains on his desk, SB 226, that would "exempt from the requirements of CEQA the installation of a solar energy system, including associated equipment, on the roof of an existing building or an existing parking lot meeting specified conditions."

From LA Times/Environment: Jerry Brown signs bill that limits delays to L.A. stadium project: "...the massive project inched closer to execution Tuesday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a controversial bill that limits lawsuits that could delay it. Speaking at a news conference... Brown said California's high unemployment demands "big ideas and big projects."

"But not everyone cheered Brown's move.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said public and nonprofit projects should also be eligible for expedited judicial review. And the environmental community has found itself divided over the bills, even though both require projects to include green features."

Thanks to The Nooner

Full Story: Brown Signs Two Measures to Streamline Environmental Reviews

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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

The remaining CEQA reform bill on the Gov's desk

In this Mercury News op-ed, Sept. 26, Safeguard CEQA's original intent: Protect the environment and grow the economy, the Nature Conservancy and the California Infill Builders Association team-up to support SB 226.

They write, "The environmental quality act is not very good at distinguishing the development of big-box stores on green fields, miles from population centers, from desperately-needed housing close to jobs and transit in cities and towns."

"Senate Bill 226 by Senators Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, allows infill projects -- that is, projects within already-developed areas -- that meet state-of-the-art environmental standards to take advantage of a streamlined review process. The bill rewards applicants whose projects have the best environmental features with faster and lower cost approval, and it provides other projects with a meaningful incentive to improve. It also eliminates duplicative levels of review, eliminating waste and allowing sponsors of infill projects to take advantage of previous environmental analyses and rely on good local planning."

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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