Thursday, June 7, 2012

#158 / Exhausted

The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, is the most powerful environmental law currently on the books. And it is under attack.

CEQA only works when ordinary people get involved and utilize its provisions. The Planning and Conservation League Foundation has published a nice Community Guide To CEQA that gives those without any CEQA experience a good understanding of how the process works, and how to begin to utilize this law effectively. PCLF has also published an inspiring book called Everyday Heroes that documents the positive impacts that CEQA has had throughout its 40+ year history.

There is no official body that supervises CEQA compliance, and that ensures that local and state governmental agencies actually carry through with the "CEQA Three-Step" process, as the law mandates. CEQA is enforced by citizen lawsuits, and there is an important "exhaustion" requirement that is a condition precedent to any such citizen litigation.

Those who would like to participate in the CEQA process, and to make use of the considerable power that CEQA provides to ordinary persons, vis a vis their government, needs to "exhaust" issues that they may want to raise later. That means that you need to raise all the issues that you care about before you go to court, so you can demonstrate to the court that you have "exhausted your administrative remedies" prior to filing a lawsuit.

The power of CEQA, in other words, is available only to those persons who actively participate in the governmental process!

Don't stay home when those governmental bodies start voting on things you care about. Your ability to do something about any bad decision they make demands that you be "exhausted" first!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all the years of exhaustive work you have done environmentally for this Planet, and in particular, the Monterey Coast and surrounding environs.


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