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Court Rules Against San Diego County Climate Action Plan

Evening Edition

Aired 10/30/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Court Rules Against San Diego County Climate Action Plan

Jan Chatten-Brown, founding partner of Chattem-Brown & Cartens, Environmental Law firm, representing the Sierra Club.

An appellate court has ruled against San Diego County's Climate Action Plan, stating it "does not ensure reductions." The court found San Diego County's plan to reduce greenhouse emissions did not live up to state standards.

The facts of the county's Climate Action Plan led to a lawsuit by the Sierra Club. A district court judge ruled in favor of the Sierra Club and against the county. Wednesday the appeals court confirmed the lower courts decision.

The law that establishes the county's policy of reducing greenhouse emissions includes CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, and a 2005 executive order by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger that established specific emission goals to slow global warming.

Environmental lawyer Jan Chatten-Brown, who represents the Sierra Club, told KPBS Midday Edition the ruling will force the county to adopt higher standards.

“There has to be – as a result of their decision – a new environmental impact report. And this is not just a technicality, it’s very important in terms of giving thorough scrutiny to the measures,” Chatten-Brown said.

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