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CEQA Exemptions Could Finally Be Granted to Sustainable Transportation Projects

California has traditionally granted environmental exemptions to large projects like football stadiums, a practice criticized by environmentalists and urbanists alike. SB 288 would change that, with exemptions for sustainable transportation projects.
June 16, 2020, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Aitor Gonzalez Frias

"Transportation projects focused on public transit, bikes and pedestrians — but not cars — would get fast-tracked for construction under a bill Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco," reports Carolyn Said. 

State Senator Wiener's goals for the legislation are to stimulate the economy by prioritizing sustainable transportation. 

Senate Bill 288, named the Sustainable Transportation COVID-19 Recovery Act, would exempt transportation projects deemed sustainable from challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), explains Said. "Projects must pass certain criteria to win the bill’s CEQA exemptions. They must be located on public rights of way in areas that are already urbanized. If they are large, they must be part of a regional transportation plan."

One kind of private project would also gain the benefits the law would confer on public transit and alternative transportation projects: publicly accessible electric-vehicle charging stations.

Said mentions specific, ongoing projects that would stand to benefit if the legislation is approved.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, June 15, 2020 in San Francisco Chronicle
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