Clearing CEQA: Study vindicates California environmental law

November 3, 2016

By Matt Kramer

Sacramento News & Review

CEQA gets a bad rap but it’s what allows people to provide feedback on plans for development in CA.

Many critics of CEQA [the California Environmental Quality Act] say that the it impedes business and ties projects up in litigation. However, a new Rose Foundation study places the percentage of projects that end up in litigation at only 0.7 percent. This helps shed light on a much-misunderstood law. “CEQA isn’t just about litigation; it’s also about having to do … reviews on projects that have a significant impact on the environment … It’s really the state’s bedrock environmental law.” says Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Change and Business Program at the UCLA and UC Berkeley schools of law. #CEQA helps us protect our environment by requiring “that state and local agencies assess the potential significant environmental impacts of proposed development projects and work to minimize such impacts when practical.”

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Sacramento Railyards Plan Wins Approval, But Not Without School Concerns

October 24, 2016

By Steve Large


The Sacramento Planning Commission unanimously approved the massive Sacramento railyards plan Monday night, but not without raising some new concerns.


The Sacramento Unified School District’s Chief Operating Officer testified that the district will need a new school site for hundreds of new children expected to move in.

“So 420 elementary, 140 middle and 140 high school at the low level,” Sacramento Unified School District COO Kathy Allen said. “And there’s not enough facilities around downtown for them right now? I will not have capacity by the time that first student arrives.”

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CEQA Workshop Success

The CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) workshop hosted by ECOS (Environmental Council of Sacramento) on August 15, 2016 went very well! Thanks to all who attended; we’ve received great feedback saying that it proved to very educational for our attendees.

Our topics included:

  • CEQA process overview
  • Conducting an analysis of a Biological Section
  • Conducting an analysis of a Land Use Section
  • Conducting an analysis of an Air Quality/Transportation Section
  • Real examples of Mitigation Measures
ECOS members are reviewing CEQA basics and how to write comment letters with some of ECOS's top Environmental Impact experts.

ECOS members reviewing CEQA basics and how to write comment letters with some of ECOS’s top Environmental Impact experts.


CEQA is an important tool which was put into place for public transparency and citizen power. We have a lot of work left to do to make our region more sustainable. ECOS can always use help reviewing CEQA documents and we encourage YOU to participate!

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