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Steinberg says CEQA Reform Not Dead Yet

Environmental legislation is still in the works, according to Senate leader

by Brian Leubitz

In the wake of Gov. Brown's earlier remarks that CEQA reform wasn't going to happen this year, Sen. Steinberg is holding out hope:

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said his bill to streamline the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is moving forward and he looks forward to talking to Brown now that the governor has returned from a trade mission in China.

"The Legislature is hard at work on CEQA reform," Steinberg told reporters. "As soon as the governor gets back, I'm going to sit down with him and go over specific provisions of the bill." (Patrick McGreevy / LA Times)

Sen. Steinberg believes that environmental interests would prefer to deal with the issue rather than facing a nasty alternative that would gut CEQA at the ballot. Even if they believe they could win at the ballot, the price tag would certainly be high, not only in dollars but in focus on other issues. Pointing to Sen. Michael Rubio's bill that would have fundamentally altered the role of environmental review, a bill that got a fair amount of support, Steinberg believes good, common sense CEQA reform is the best alternative for the environmental community as well as those who wish to see speedier development.