This is interesting, given that Metro is certainly targeted by CEQA lawsuits — the agency is currently defending itself in CEQA suits challenging the environmental studies for the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Regional Connector and the Westside Subway Extension. In addition, the Expo Line Construction Authority is defending itself in a CEQA suit against the studies for the project’s second phase.
Those suits have come against a broader discussion about where to set the bar on lawsuits against big projects and how to speed up resolution of such suits. Roughly speaking, proponents of CEQA reform argue such lawsuits are being used to stop legally-approved projects or extort concessions from them while opponents of reform say such lawsuits are often the only remedy they have if, in their view, projects aren’t sufficiently studied.
Here’s the update from Metro’s government relations staff:
Metro Government Relations has been participating in a statewide coalition discussing CEQA reform efforts. The coalition today issued a press release regarding a recently released study of CEQA related litigation. The study was done by Holland & Knight who analyzed 95 published court decisions from 1997 to 2012. The study identifies that specific projects such as infill, public works projects are most commonly targeted by CEQA lawsuits. A copy of the study can be found by clicking here, the press release highlighting the findings of the study can be found here and additional information on Projects subject to CEQA Litigation can be found here.