Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

Bill Calls For New Courts Dedicated to CEQA Cases

Feb 22, 2013

Credit Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Lawsuits under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA are often criticized for delaying projects. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, one lawmaker has introduced a bill that he says might speed up the judicial process.

Democratic Assemblymember Roger Dickinson has introduced a bill that would create CEQA courts in Northern and Southern California. The courts would have exclusive jurisdiction over any CEQA litigation.

He says under the law, judicial review can take too long and end up with courts applying the law inconsistently. Dickinson says he doesn’t think his measure would increase costs for the court system, which is already struggling under budget cuts.

“I think this could actually save the courts money ultimately because it will shorten the time that courts are working with cases, it will concentrate expertise, which means you’ll have uniformity and consistency in decisions.”

Under the bill, any appeals would go directly to the California Supreme Court. The legislature is considering changes to CEQA this session.