Gov. Brown calls for environmental law reform to ‘cut needless delays’


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Gov. Jerry Brown said in his State of the State address Thursday that he wants to refine California’s environmental protection laws so they don’t unnecessarily hold up development projects that create jobs.

‘We … need to rethink and streamline our regulatory procedures, particularly the California Environmental Quality Act,’ Brown told the joint session of the Legislature. ‘Our approach needs to be based more on consistent standards that provide greater certainty and cut needless delays.’


The comments came a few weeks after a group of business leaders called for changes in CEQA to prevent what they say is lawsuit abuse that misuses the environmental laws to bottle up projects in court.

On Thursday, the Natural Resources Defense Council asked the governor to preserve CEQA.

‘We urge Gov. Brown to reject efforts to weaken the California Environmental Quality Act, which has provided protections against local pollution and health threats for residents for more than 40 years,’’ the council said in a statement responding to Brown’s address.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Gov. Jerry Brown gives his State of the State address at the Capitol. To the left is Assembly Speaker John Perez; at right is Senate President Darrell Steinberg. Credit: Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee