In Case You Missed It: San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: “Of all the well-documented abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act, this one may be the most absurd” 4/13/15

In an editorial today, the San Francisco Chronicle again called for reform of the California Environmental Quality Act, noting it can be manipulated and abused for reasons that have nothing to do with the environment.

Case in point: A CEQA lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activists against a Planned Parenthood clinic in South San Francisco. The CEQA lawsuit alleges city planners had not sufficiently taken into account “environmental impacts,” specifically the noise and traffic disruptions that would be caused by the activists OWN protests.

Calling this “absurd” the Chronicle said “We can now add women’s health services to the toll of public goods that have been stymied by the California Legislature’s refusal to stand up to the interest groups who seem to think CEQA should remain carved in stone.”

Read the full editorial, “Antiabortion group exploiting environmental law to halt clinic”

Below are key excerpts,

  • “Of all the well-documented abuses of the California Environmental Quality Act, this one may be the most absurd.”
  • “This nonsense must stop. The 40-year-old CEQA has been a critical tool for preserving our natural resources, but it also has been exploited by interests whose motives have nothing to do with the environment, such as businesses that stifle would-be competitors or unions looking for leverage.”
  • “The plaintiffs are not going away easily, despite a tentative ruling against the lawsuit by San Mateo Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner in July 2014. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood is being forced to spend money on legal fees that could have gone into health care.”
  • “We can now add women’s health services to the toll of public goods that have been stymied by the California Legislature’s refusal to stand up to the interest groups who seem to think CEQA should remain carved in stone.”
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