Bill Tracker

AB 1117 (Fong) California Environmental Quality Act

Position:Watch
Status:Policy Committees
Summary:

This bill would make five changes to CEQA:

(1)  Prohibit a lead agency from being required to evaluate the aesthetic effects of a project and would prohibit aesthetic effects from being considered significant effects on the environment, except in certain circumstances.

(2)  CEQA petitioners would have to disclose the identity of persons contributing more than $1,000 toward costs of a challenge; failure to comply could result in dismissal of the action.  Additionally, if a court found that CEQA was being used for a  “nonenvironmental purpose,” -- including, competing with another business, delaying a project for reasons unrelated to environmental protection, or extracting concessions unrelated to the environment from project proponents--it could dismiss the action.  

(3) Eliminates a provision that would have the effect of requiring the public agency to prepare a certified record of proceedings in all actions claiming the agency had violated the Act; but would change how a court reviews whether an agency "abused its discretion" by authorizing a court to consider whether the agency made a good faith effort and otherwise substantially complied with the requirements of the act and would authorize the court to consider whether a different outcome would have resulted.

(4) Authorizes a court upon a finding that an agency did not comply with CEQA,  to enter the order mandating that the determination, finding, or decision be voided, provided that the order does not result in the eviction of residential tenants. Additionally, authorizes a court to enter the order to suspend a specific project activity if the court finds that the project activities will irreparably prejudice the consideration or implementation of mitigation measures or alternatives to the project. It also prohibits a court from staying or enjoining the construction or operation of a project unless it makes certain findings.

(5) Allows a person to bring an action or proceeding challenging a public agency’s action on the grounds of noncompliance, orally or in writing, after the public comment period but before the close of the public hearing if new information arises after the close of the public comment period that was not known or could not have been known or if there are significant discrepancies between the information contained in the environmental documentation and other documentation submitted to other state or federal regulatory agencies. The bill would allow a person to maintain an action or proceeding if that person objected to the approval of the project orally after the public comment period and before the close of the public hearing, before filing the specified notice of determinations. The bill would allow an organization formed after the approval of a project to maintain an action if certain requirements are met.

 

More Info:Legislative Website Info
Last Updated:April 11, 2017