The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is a highly divisive piece of legislation. While it is an important law with the noble purpose of accounting for and evaluating environmental impacts, it forces builders to produce detailed environmental surveys for their projects and creates herculean hindrances for those seeking to develop land. In many cases, CEQA can create insurmountable obstacles, and several groups have a myriad of legitimate criticisms of this law.
ONE: Environmentalists Say CEQA Can Obstruct Environmental Infrastructure
In an ironic twist, the provisions of a CEQA review often can scuttle projects designed to improve the environment across the state of California. The ability to file a lawsuit to intensify a review is often used to slow down projects of any kind, even those deemed beneficial and sustainable.
TWO: Builders Say CEQA Is Too Restrictive
Builders want the freedom to create projects and reshape the land as needed. CEQA demands a high level of attention to environmental issues that may make it impossible to realize certain goals. The need to be ecologically neutral, for instance, is a significant hurdle that many business leaders find difficult to overcome.
THREE: Municipalities Can’t Meet Provisions
Many municipalities also dislike the restrictions imposed by CEQA and consider some of the provisions impossible to meet. This places hurdles in front of necessary infrastructure developments that can hobble a town or city and stop innovation.
FOUR: Some Believe CEQA Doesn’t Account for the Future
The newest complaint about CEQA is that it does not account for how the future will take shape. The law – originally passed in 1970 – may no longer function properly in today’s society. However, all companies and municipalities are still beholden to its provisions.
Seek Skilled Legal Representation
Many have pushed for changes to CEQA for decades, but these efforts have had varying degrees of success and the law is not likely to change anytime soon. If you are facing costly CEQA-related challenges with your project, it is critical to work with a team of agile litigators who can help you navigate this difficult territory and avoid unnecessary delays.