Lobby sues to slow fast-tracking of environmental reviews for large-scale projects

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The Sacramento-based Planning and Conservation League has sued to block a state law that would fast-track environmental reviews for large-scale projects.

Last winter, state lawmakers passed two bills meant to expedite review procedures for some projects operating under the state’s Environmental Quality Act.

One applies solely to the proposed stadium for downtown Los Angeles, but the other was written to ease along so-called "leadership projects" – blockbusters that cost more than $100 million.

Supporters of the bill argued that the big budget projects would offer job opportunities and encourage green development.

In Alameda County Superior Court, the environmental lobbying group is now arguing that the legislature limits the authority of the state judiciary branch by forcing opponents to start in appellate court.

The Planning League was quick to add that while some streamlining of environmental review is okay, the legislation pertaining to "leadership projects" went too far.

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