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Home > Feature Articles > Municipality Strategies for Sustainable Community Best Practices

California Enforcing 1970 Law to Address Fast Growth City Planning

High-growth cities & counties must include climate change in assessing environmental impacts of major proposed projects.

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california green industry Laying down law on global warming

California Attorney General uses 1970 statute to insist projects assess climate-change impacts.

By Chris Bowman - Bee Staff Writer

The first greenhouse gas-fighting mandates to pinch Californians won't be the state's trend-setting new laws requiring low-carbon fuels and more fuel efficiency.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown is the first to crack down, using a California law enacted long before stranded polar bears became symbols of global warming.

Squeezing the trigger on the 37- year-old California Environmental Quality Act, Brown is pressuring high-growth cities and counties such as Sacramento and Yuba to immediately include climate change -- alongside traffic congestion, sewage treatment capacity and water supplies -- in assessing environmental impacts of major proposed projects.

Brown's action comes as leading climate scientists warn that the world is closer to the brink of a climate crisis than previously realized.

"California can't wait," said Brown, who was the state's Democratic governor from 1974 to 1982 and more recently Oakland's mayor. "If we do nothing for the next several years, then the buildup of these gases will require even more drastic reductions..."

For the rest of the article, go to: Sacramento Bee

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