UPDATE (Aug. 31, 2012): The work of many, many individuals has helped convince lawmakers that changes to CEQA should not occur in the 11th hour, and for at least this legislative session the CEQA bill will be dropped! Thank you CNPS for all your work!
The California Environmental Quality Act was established to ensure that projects that impact our treasured California habitats and species will be adequately reviewed. CEQA requires studies and surveys that help us concretely determine if and how a species will be impacted by a proposed project. CEQA is a cornerstone in enabling conservation and restoration in California.
The following test is from CNPS (CA Native Plant Society) urging people to help make CEQA relevant and important as the Legislative session comes to a close. Please call and/or write your representative and tell them that CEQA matters!
As the 2012 California Legislative Session speeds to a close on August 31st, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has again become the currency of the Capitol’s back room traders. Right now, the integrity of CEQA is seemingly being offered up by Democrats seeking Republican votes needed to pass last-minute bills – bills being drafted without public hearings and outside of committee review. SOME POTENTIAL BILLS PERTAIN TO INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS, OTHERS AFFECT WHOLE CLASSES OF PROJECTS, E.G., ALL PROJECTS THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH LOCAL GENERAL PLANS REGARDLESS OF HOW OUTDATED THE PLANS ARE.
There are CEQA amendments that have been deliberated thoughtfully by a broad spectrum of groups, including CNPS. But the last-minute, closed-door attacks on CEQA must stop, and we’re asking you to call your State Senator and Assemblymember THIS WEEK, and tell them the following:
1. You value CEQA because it ensures the public our right to know what’s going on in our own communities.
2. As their constituent, you object to and oppose any NEW, LAST-MINUTE attempts to change CEQA between now and the end of Session on August 31st.
3. As their constituent, you want him/her to VOTE NO to last-minute attempts to change CEQA.
The CNPS Conservation Program has prepared a flyer called, “CEQA – What is it really?” We feel these six paragraphs describe what is worth preserving at the very core of CEQA. It might also help you explain the value of this law to others. Click here to download the flyer.