California’s political leadership is setting up 2015 to be the year for taking the already aggressive state climate goals and imposing new, far reaching requirements. However, if California intends to meet these climate goals and impose new requirements, then a corresponding change in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) must be made to achieve these objectives.
CEQA was originally intended to provide public disclosure on proposed project impacts and mitigate those impacts. The key feature of CEQA is to provide opportunities for public input to further reduce project impacts and enhance mitigation. Unfortunately, CEQA is now being used for a variety of purposes, some completely unrelated to environmental mitigation. The greatest irony is that many of the projects that have been held up or killed altogether have ended up delaying improvements that have environmental benefits.