The Los Angeles Times published an outstanding article today documenting how California developers are using environmental laws to thwart competition. The California Environmental Quality Act requires an environmental review process for projects funded by the state or projects that require action by a government body, such as a zoning variance.
According to the Times, developers are frequently suing rivals under the Act, which effectively delays competition and increases the cost of starting a new business project.
As the Times observed, “The law requires project developers to go through a lengthy, public process detailing environmental effects and how they will be mitigated. The findings can be challenged in court by virtually any local party.”
While environmental activist groups profess shock and disgust that businesses are using the law to obstruct one another, environmental activist groups has have been using the same law for the same purpose for decades. Perhaps now Californians will get soon some reform and relief from the Act.