Capital Accounts: CEQA Story Takes Onion-Like Turn

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The Recorder

Michael Zischke was quoted in a March 1, 2013 article in The Recorder about the unusual circumstances surrounding the departure of state Senator Michael Rubio, the key lawmaker involved in legislative efforts to rewrite the California Environmental Quality Act. Rubio left many stunned when, on Feb. 22, he announced he was leaving politics to take a job with Chevron and spend more time with his family.

As the article points out, it is unclear whether anyone will step in and take the lead in the CEQA rewrite effort, which led to the introduction last month of Senate Bill 731. Many state lawmakers support minor tweaks to CEQA but are opposed to a major rewrite.

“It strikes me that this is all kind of up in the air,” Zischke told The Recorder. “I think some dust needs to settle from Senator Rubio's announcement.”

While Rubio backed the idea of barring lawsuits that try to force developers to do more than meet the standards of CEQA, SB 731 currently contains few specifics and has been described as more of a “framework.” But Zischke said the "threshold of significance" language that made it into the bill gives him some hope.

"I still think there's lots of possibility," he said.


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