A new bill revived debate in the Legislature this week over the reach of the California Environmental Quality Act as it relates to environmental justice.
Asm. Cristina Garcia of Bell Gardens is seeking to ensure that any environmental mitigation efforts actually take place in the communities impacted by the development project. During a committee hearing, Garcia said such efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or other pollutants often happen away from the communities of concern.
“Are we going to keep telling the disadvantaged communities that this is as good as it gets?” she asked.
Business groups leading the opposition to the bill argued it would duplicate existing standards, add ambiguous language, lead to lawsuits that stall projects, and worsen the state’s housing crisis. Several agriculture groups registered opposition.