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AB-1905 Environmental quality: judicial review: transportation projects.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/12/2018 09:00 PM
AB1905:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 12, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1905


Introduced by Assembly Member Grayson

January 22, 2018


An act to add Section 21168.6.7 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1905, as amended, Grayson. Environmental quality: judicial review: transportation projects.
The California Environmental Quality Act requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. The act establishes a procedure by which a person may seek judicial review of the decision of the lead agency made pursuant to the act.
This bill would, in an action or proceeding seeking judicial review under the California Environmental Quality Act, prohibit a court from staying or enjoining a transportation project that would reduce total vehicle miles traveled, that is included in a sustainable communities strategy strategy, and for which an environmental impact report has been certified, unless the court makes specified findings.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 21168.6.7 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

21168.6.7.
 (a) This section shall only apply to a transportation project that would, based on the lead agency’s findings, reduce total vehicle miles traveled, that is included in a sustainable communities strategy approved by a metropolitan planning organization pursuant to Section 65080 of the Government Code Code, and for which an environmental impact report has been certified.
(b) In any action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, void, or annul the certification of an environmental impact report for a transportation project or the granting of such a project’s approval, the court shall not stay or enjoin the construction or operation of the transportation project unless the court finds either of the following:
(1) The continued construction or operation of the transportation project presents an imminent threat to the public health and safety.
(2) The transportation project contains unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values that would be materially, permanently, and adversely affected by the continued construction or operation of the transportation project unless the court stays or enjoins the construction or operation of the transportation project.
(c) If the court finds that paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b) is satisfied, the court shall only enjoin those specific activities associated with the transportation project that present an imminent threat to public health and safety or that materially, permanently, and adversely affect unforeseen important Native American artifacts or unforeseen important historical, archaeological, or ecological values.

(d)An action or proceeding to attack, set aside, void, or annul a determination, finding, or decision of the lead agency or responsible agency granting subsequent project approval for a transportation project included in the environmental impact review shall be subject to the judicial remedy limitations of this section.

(e)When an action or proceeding brought pursuant to this section challenges a portion of a transportation project and that portion is severable from the transportation project, the court may enter an order as to those portions of the transportation project that includes one or more of the remedies set forth in Section 21168.9.

(f)The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.