• California Lawmakers Introduce 26 CEQA Reform Bills
  • March 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Best Best Krieger LLP - Riverside Office
  • Twenty-six bills that propose changes to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) have been introduced in the 2013-2014 legislative session. Of these bills, some would make relatively minor or discrete changes, while others propose much more substantive and far-reaching amendments.

    Some of the issues addressed by the proposed legislation include the creation of new CEQA compliance courts, and a requirement that environmental documents and notices be translated when the impacted community has a substantial number of non-English speakers. Furthermore, SB 617 would require that lead agencies begin to analyze not only a proposed project’s impact on the environment, but also the environment’s impact on that project.

    In addition, Sen. Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, introduced SB 731, which would provide “the framework to encourage smart, environmentally sound growth by streamlining the environmental review process without compromising the quality of life Californians deserve and expect in our communities.” Although this bill does not yet include specific reform measures, it outlines intended amendments regarding, among other changes, streamlining of the CEQA process and the use of specific thresholds of significance for evaluating a project’s environmental impacts.