Environmentalists: Few Victories This Legislative Session



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 14, 2013

Environmentalists say there were only a few victories this session.

They staved off major changes to the California Environmental Quality Act, but not all.

Of 10 bills to regulate the oil-extraction process known as fracking, only one was signed into law, that some groups say didn’t go far enough.

“We’re characterizing it as sort of a so-so session,” says Kathryn Phillips with the Sierra Club.

 “There were some victories. The victories were not in our view, huge victories. They’re important but they’re not huge. And there were some huge disappointments,” says Phillips.

A bill that would have allowed the Coastal Commission to levy fines failed, as did four of the safe drinking water bills.

 “There was a whole host of bills, dozens of environmental bills that made it through, just nothing that was major. None of the big things that we were looking at," says Bruce Reznik, executive director of the Planning and Conservation League and also a sponsor of the Coastal Commission bill.

The Governor signed a bill that bans lead ammunition. He also signed legislation ratifying an agreement with Nevada on the governance of Lake Tahoe.

The Sierra Club and other environmentalists have filed a lawsuit in federal court.

They fear the agreement will lead to more development in the region.

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