FYI on CEQA legislative updates, and state CEQA vs. federal NEPA lawsuit -- from PCL - Planning & Conservation League s *Ceqa Works* coalition. These laws,Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5View SourceFYI on CEQA legislative updates, and state CEQA vs. federal NEPA lawsuit -- from PCL - Planning & Conservation League's Ceqa Works coalition.These laws, policies, and issues are related to SSFL cleanup process, affecting R.P.s and agencies. 'CEQA vs. NEPA' info included for terms and concepts that may be useful in local SSFL discussions, not HSR issue.No positions advocacy intended by posting.__________________________________________________________Pasted in:CEQA Works updates summary:· Pleased to have avoided catastrophic changes to CEQA. Environmentalists made a real difference by holding back wholesale changes pushed by developer interests.· However, mixed feelings about the outcome at the end of session: just because CEQA was not totally gutted that does not mean we are celebrating.· For the most part, SB 743 (signed into law end of Sept.) did more harm than good. Troubling precedents set with regard to injunctive relief (related to Kings arena) and pay-for-play status for big-dollar projects (particularly using end of session gut-and-amend tactics).· Looking forward to next year’s legislative session where our side may have an opportunity to push forward meaningful, positive updates to CEQA that protect and strengthen the law’s core principles.PCL summary of CEQA bills (27 Sept. 2013).CEQA vs. NEPA Litigation:
In August the Attorney General argued in ongoing litigation that CEQA is preempted by NEPA and therefore does apply to California’s High Speed Rail project (HSR). Regardless of how one feels about High Speed Rail (and different groups that are part of CEQA Works may have different feelings about that project), the State of California arguing that state environmental law is preempted by federal law is extremely concerning for many reasons, including the fact that CEQA is stronger than NEPA, particularly as it relates to minimizing and mitigating impacts (meaning such an interpretation could result in impacts not being adequately addressed), as well as the far-reaching implications such a decision could have not only on HSR, but other projects as well.The amicus brief joinder will make the following points:"While HSR may in the long run be beneficial in terms of reducing greenhouse gasses, we are concerned that the preemption of California's premier environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), by an imprecise federal law not clearly intended to preempt CEQA would have profoundly damaging long term environmental repercussions.CEQA should apply to make sure the project is done, but done right so that it is the best investment possible. This is not just a once in a generation public investment, but rather once in a century or more decision. To such a momentous challenge, the best information, analysis of alternatives, and incorporation of suitable mitigation measures must apply, with full public involvement.For that, CEQA is absolutely vital. We underscore the citation of the CCHSRA amicus letter, which predicted that with the expansion of federal preemption, local and state environmental protection laws would be increasingly displaced. We oppose such an unwarranted displacement of state law intended to protect public health, safety, and welfare."
Bruce ReznikExecutive Director, Planning & Conservation League/PCL Foundation916-822-5632 (o)619-851-9997 (c)__________________________________________________________fwd/paste in by Christian Kiillkkaa
SSFL CAG Communications Committee Co-Chairchristiankiillkkaa@...