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California can stop the border wall with environmental lawsuits, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says

A portion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Otay Mountain, Calif. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
A portion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Otay Mountain, Calif. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

President-elect Donald Trump's plan to build a wall along the border will run into resistance in California, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said in an interview with The Golden State podcast .

The state could sue under the California Environmental Quality Act or its federal equivalent, said Newsom, utilizing a common tactic to delay or kill all sorts of development projects around the state.

"There’s something called CEQA in California — NEPA at the federal level,” Newsom said. “There’s indigenous lands and autonomies relating to governance on those lands. There are all kinds of obstructions as it relates to just getting zoning approval and getting building permits. All those things could be made very, very challenging for the administration.”

The 1970 law has been credited with help protecting the state's environment, but also is a frequent source of criticism for its unintended consequences, such as blocking the installation of bike lanes . Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to spur housing development last year collapsed in part because environmentalists and labor unions believed the plan was an end-run around CEQA .

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