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Abuse of a Great Environmental Law

Here’s food for thought . . . Why is a great environmental law being used to stymie environmental protection?

CEQA – The California Environmental Quality Act – was signed into law by Republican Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970, intended to protect the environment and ensure a transparent process. Sadly, this great law is all too often greatly abused for non-environmental purposes.

The law firm of Holland and Knight recently completed a study of all 95 published court cases over the past 15 years, and the results are troubling:

* Nearly 60 percent of the projects sued were infill, often transit-oriented developments.

* Nearly four in ten were public agency projects like schools, hospitals, roads and colleges.

CEQA lawsuits shelter anonymous interests, with nearly 75 percent filed by organizations who won’t reveal their members or financial sources. This has led to economic competitors suing each other for anything but protecting the environment.

This year, for the first time in the law’s 43-year history, we may see real reform. Let’s protect the environment and prevent the abuse.

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