The California Planning and Conservation League held its annual 2013 Legislative Symposium recently. Normally, the environmental organization concentrate its symposium on a number of different topics. This year’s was different—the focus was squarely the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
As you might expect PCL wants to defend CEQA. But Executive Director Bruce Reznik said that it was important to have other points of view represented to promote about a dialogue about the state’s 42-year-old foundational environmental law.
Some of those who attended bristled at the notion of doing anything with CEQA. Senator Noreen Evans, a Democrat from Santa Rosa who was honored by PCL for her service, flatly said she thought there were more important issues to discuss than CEQA.
That begs the question, why reform or modernize or change CEQA now? Reznik believes he understands why, and cited a fragile economy and a better organized opposition to the law as two factors. He also indicated that the environmental movement is ready to defend the law:
CEQA in the 21st Century — a series of news stories and individual perspectives designed to educate and spark dialogue on CEQA as the California Legislature revisits the role the environmental law will play in the future of our economy.