Sunday, January 25, 2009

26 / CEQA And Global Warming

Today, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is holding a workshop in Sacramento on draft guidelines that would specify how governmental agencies should evaluate the possible global warming impacts of their proposed actions. Whenever someone mentions the evaluation of the possible environmental impacts of a proposed governmental action, you know they’re talking about CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act. Today’s workshop is to present and get comments on proposed new CEQA Guidelines that specifically discuss how CEQA should take global warming concerns into account.

Anyone interested in land use policy will want to follow what happens on these proposed new CEQA Guidelines, because what’s going on today is not, actually “pro-environment.” Environmental groups opposed Senate Bill 97, the bill that has required the preparation of these new CEQA Guidelines relating to global warming. CEQA is already clear (no “guidelines” required), that government agencies have to evaluate the possible impact of their actions on global warming. Thus, the current “guideline” process is being seen by developer and business interests as a possible way to limit the application of CEQA, rather than to expand it.

More Information
SB 97, enacted in 2007, requires OPR and the State Resources Agency to adopt new CEQA Guidelines relating to the evaluation of global warming impacts. A link to the law is provided below. A copy of the Draft Guidelines is available on the OPR Website, along with other information about the process that will govern the ultimate adoption of the Guidelines. A webcast of the OPR workshop will be available starting at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, January 26th.

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