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Environmental brief ~ CA considering enviro law changes to cut housing costs

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, the California legislature [official website] is considering revisions to the 35-year-old California Environmental Quality Act [text](CEQA). The revisions are prompted by increased housing costs in the rapidly growing state. The CEQA requires a variety of environmental reviews of new development projects. Governor Schwarzenegger is pushing for trimming some environmental reviews that slow housing projects and mandating that local agencies approve enough homes to meet demand. More than two dozen CEQA-related bills are currently being considered. The San Diego Union-Tribune has more.

In other news,

  • The EPA [official website] is seeking comments on a proposed rule [text] that would implement an 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard. While most of the issues involved in the new standard have been addressed previously, the EPA specifically seeks comments on whether it should interpret the Clean Air Act [text] to require areas to retain major new source review (NSR) requirements that apply to certain 1-hour ozone nonattainment areas in implementing the 8-hour standard, and whether the EPA properly concludes that a State's request to remove 1-hour major NSR programs from its State Implementation Plan (SIP) will not interfere with any applicable requirement within the meaning of Section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act. Comments can be made here until May 4.

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