Originally published in Law360, New York (June 07, 2012, 1:12 PM ET)
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was originally adopted with the goal of disclosing and weighing the environmental impacts of discretionary actions by state agencies and local governments.
While CEQA has certainly resulted in greater consideration of the environmental impacts of development, a common complaint is that CEQA has become a powerful tool for NIMBYism ("Not in my backyard!"), slowing down projects with substantial environmental benefits, such as dense urban development, based on concerns only tangentially related to the environment.
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