Labor, Environmental Groups Protest Changes To CEQA

SACRAMENTO — Labor and environmental groups rallied Tuesday on the steps of the Capitol to protest efforts to overhaul California’s landmark environmental law.

Representatives from unions and environmental organizations — backed by dozens of supporters — described the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, as an “environmental bill of rights” that allows the public to weigh in on proposed development in their communities.

Signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1970, the measure requires developers to go through a lengthy public process detailing their projects’ potential environmental effects and how those would be mitigated.

Business groups have long complained that activists, labor unions — even corporate competitors — abuse the law by filing frivolous lawsuits to delay and kill development. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce are leading an effort to streamline environmental reviews and limit legal challenges.

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