Gov. Brown Fast-Tracks Construction Review

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills intended to goose up the California economy by shortening the environmental review for some construction projects.
     “It’s time for big thinking and big projects that put Californians back to work,” Brown said in a ceremony at the proposed site of a new football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, next to the Staples Center.
     AB 900, the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act, will create a fast-track judicial review process so that key construction projects can start sooner and still meet the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act.
     Projects designated by the governor as “leadership projects” will go through an expedited regulatory review in the California Courts of Appeal.
     Farmers Field is the subject of a companion bill, SB 292, which designates the unbuilt football stadium as a leadership project that will be subject to the new streamlined review.
     Brown said his hope is to generate job and investment growth with big construction efforts.
     “Projects like Farmers Field can create thousands of jobs during a tough economic time, so it is imperative for the state to cut the red tape that could delay projects like this for years. These bills strike the right balance between protecting our environment and kick-starting jobs and investment in California,” Brown said.
     According to the governor’s office, more than 10,000 jobs will be created in the construction of the 68,000 seat stadium, bringing an estimated $40 million in revenues a year to the city, county and state.
     The stadium’s design by will make it “the most environmentally friendly stadium in the nation,” a LEED-certified facility with a net zero carbon footprint, the governor’s press release said.AB 900 was written by Assemblymember Joan Buchanan (D-San Ramon) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). SB 292 was written by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima).

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