San Francisco Chronicle, January 23, 2013
Enviro Act Not Broken
Developers like to trot out anomalous anecdotes about lawsuits to mislead Californians about our environmental laws ("Modernize protection law," Open Forum, Jan. 17).
But how many projects are actually challenged in court through the California Environmental Quality Act? Far less than 1 percent. The Public Policy Institute of California found that only 1 in 354 environmental reviews ends up in court.
That hasn't stopped the attacks on our states bedrock environmental law. Last year, Sen. Michael Rubio, conservative Democrat, attempted to turn the California Environmental Quality Act into a meaningless checklist that eliminated public disclosure and government accountability.
New attacks are under way this year, even though measures passed in 2011 already streamlined renewable-energy projects and infill projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act has protected our air, water and wildlife while assuring accountability in local government for more than 40 years.
Deceptive campaigns to change this law are really aimed at gutting these critical environmental protections.
© 2013 Hearst Communications Inc.
This article originally appeared here.