Conservation Alert, 2011 Mar | SB241 CEQA Under Threat
From the Desk of Celia Kutcher, Conservation Chair
CEQA UNDER THREAT, CNPS CALLING FOR ACTION NOW
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is the state’s principal environmental law. It gives communities the ability to participate in decisions that determine how they grow, and how to avoid adverse effects from development. It also is the basis on which the enviro community can work to preserve rare species, hence their habitat, hence the natural open space lands that hold the habitat. So a strong CEQA is very important to CNPS’ mission to preserve native plants.
CEQA requires extensive public hearings and community input on projects that affect a community and its nearby natural environment. Non-enviro critics consider these procedures to be onerous and time-wasting, and blame them for holding up projects that would create jobs–thus implying blame for CEQA for current economic conditions.
Now, five anti-CEQA legislators, including OC’s own Tom Harman, are pushing for approval of SB 241, a deleterious overhaul of CEQA, as a compromise to getting the proposed budget passed. More info: latimes.com/news/local/la-me-budget-environment-20110316,0,4929214,print.story.
ACTION NOW! State CNPS is calling for all members to tell their state Senators that CEQA is essential for the protection of our environment, and must not be weakened. Since Tom Harman is among the anti-CEQA leaders, if you live in his district it’s especially important that you tell him “Do not weaken CEQA in any way!!!” Budget negotiations are underway, so take action today! The environment thanks you!