Key California environmental law not a barrier to development, new state report says

The state’s primary environmental law governing development doesn’t block development from actually happening, according to a state study released Thursday.

The study examined, over five years ending in 2016, how state transportation, parks and other projects were handled under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. The law requires developers to disclose and often lessen their project’s effect on the environment before proceeding with construction. The study found that 1% of projects required detailed analyses under the law and less than 1% of them were sued.

“This extensive review of state agencies clearly finds that CEQA is doing what Gov. Reagan and the Legislature hoped it would do when they passed it in 1970 — providing transparency, accountability and reducing harmful impacts to our environment as we undertake important projects to enhance our state,” said Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, which commissioned the study.

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