CEQA Reform Highlights the 2011 California Legislative Session

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The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has played a historic role in environmental protection by requiring projects to go through extensive studies to disclose and mitigate environmental impacts. For developers, CEQA can lead to uncertainty, project delays, increased development costs and often frivolous litigation.

For project opponents, CEQA can serve as an effective avenue to modify, delay, and even kill projects. This year, citing the economic recession and high state unemployment, the State Legislature introduced an unprecedented number of CEQA-related bills, many of which were aimed at streamlining the CEQA review and litigation processes to reduce CEQA-related project delays and remove what some view as excessive environmental review for certain projects. The following is a summary of some of the most talked-about CEQA bills this session.

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