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CEQA Overhaul Dead for the Year; Effort Pushed to 2013

Aired 8/23/12 on KPBS News.

The law that governs California’s complex environmental review process for development projects will not be rewritten in the next week and a half.

The law that governs California’s complex environmental review process for development projects will not be rewritten in the next week and a half.

Business groups have been pushing state lawmakers from both parties to overhaul the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, before the legislature adjourns at the end of next week.

But that effort ended abruptly Thursday. Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg said a CEQA rewrite should not be rushed through in the final days of session – so he’s pledging action next year instead.

“We are going to work to improve this law – a great law, but a law that needs work," said Steinberg. "It shouldn’t be used as a tool for anything other than the environment. It shouldn’t be used in ways that are not fair.”

Environmental groups and many Democrats strongly opposed what they called a last-minute political power play. But other Democrats, as well as Republicans, were on board with the overhaul.

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