Re "Rubio grabs a hot potato" (Page A1, Jan. 28) and "Opponents abuse CEQA to derail worthy projects" (California Forum, Jan. 13): Sen. Michael Rubio is spot-on about the need to modernize CEQA. Recently, construction began to renovate an El Cerrito school to accommodate students who were displaced after their campus was found to be seismically unsafe. Unfortunately, a local group that opposed having middle-school students in their neighborhood delayed the project for four years with a CEQA lawsuit.
This caused the displacement of hundreds of students and cost the school district an additional $10 million. The project underwent a full environmental review under CEQA and was found to be environmentally sound, but this single group with special-interest motivations was able to use CEQA to significantly delay the project. Unfortunately, this is just one of many similar examples and brings to light how imperative it is that changes are made to CEQA to ensure these types of projects are able to move forward if they've followed the law.
-- Thomas G. Duffy, legislative director, Coalition for Adequate School Housing, Sacramento