California Plan Would Block Projects From Environmental Lawsuits

California is looking to fast-track a pilot project that would exempt some construction projects from environment-related legal challenges. It's a move aimed at speeding development and creating jobs, but critics say it will harm the environment.

"The California Environmental Quality Act Litigation Protection Pilot Program would allow the state's Business, Housing and Transportation Agency to identify 25 construction projects a year that would not be subject to legal challenges once the environmental impact reports are complete and approved."

It's part of a package of measure introduced by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to boost job creation in the state. Critics say the program would allow environmentally damaging projects to speed through the approvals process with little oversight.

Full Story: Governor's plan would shield projects from lawsuit




The state is exempting itself from it's own rules (legal challenges after the fact being part of the game)... very nice.

I wonder which cousin, relative or friend of influential people in the Business, Housing and Transportation Agency will "coincidentally" be involved in one, or several, of the 25 exempted projects per year (and then spread the wealth by making a nice donation to folks who passed the bill)? I guess I'll have to console myself that at least the people who vote against this proposal will get to extort even more money from the Sierra Club and trial lawyers organizations.

This just seems ripe for abuse.

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