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Revisions to CEQA Draw Mixed Reviews

09/12/2011 Greenwire

Nossaman Partner Robert Thornton was quoted in the Greenwire article "Revisions to CEQA Draw Mixed Reviews," about legislation approved by the California Assembly recently that would streamline the state's strict environmental review process when it comes to certain major projects.

Mr. Thornton said that although his clients would support efforts to streamline the process, the law does not go far enough.

"I think it's a good first step," he said. "The bill is pretty modest."

It doesn't, for example, appear to apply to any transportation projects, he noted.

Furthermore, the legislation affects only litigation, not the convoluted CEQA review process itself, which takes years for big projects, Mr. Thornton said.

"The problem that major projects face is the length of time to get through the CEQA process," he continued. There is also frustration that projects often have to undergo a federal review as well under the National Environmental Policy Act, which is similar to CEQA.

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