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Valley Public Radio Staff
Government & Politics
Mon August 20, 2012
Business and Labor Groups Aim to Change California's Environmental Law
With just two weeks left in the legislative session, some business and labor groups are pushing to change California's complex environmental review process for building and construction projects.
Jim Earp is with a coalition of construction unions. He says the law gets abused by being used to stall new development.
“It's not always just about how many end up in lawsuits, its, and this is particularly true in public infrastructure projects, how much the delay adds to the cost of that project.”
But Kathryn Phillips with Sierra Club California says the law's teeth come from its ability to sue.
“The good thing and the bad thing about CEQA is it's citizen enforcement – if they start taking away litigation, how do they expect this thing to be enforced?”
There's no written legislation yet. But business groups say they're pushing to change the law so that it would only apply in situations where there are no other state or federal environmental laws.