Letter to the LA Times: CEQA saves lives

Letter to the Los Angeles Times

To the Editor:

CEQA saves lives. For many front-line communities impacted by the climate crisis, CEQA is the only pathway to secure vital public health protections during land development.

Your editorial highlights the potential misuse of this law by certain interest groups. But we must not weaken the law’s essential safeguards, especially for low-income residents and communities of color who experience disproportionate burdens.

CEQA fosters public participation in land-use decisions and holds public agencies accountable to their communities. CEQA can prevent housing from being located around toxic sites.

Because of CEQA, warehouse logistics projects in Riverside County and elsewhere have reduced their emission of pollutants, agencies have amended decisions to drill oil wells near homes and schools, and oil companies have been required to reduce their noise and air-quality impacts.

We must keep CEQA strong for future generations.

Jonathan Pruitt, Oakland

The writer is Green Zones program manager at the California Environmental Justice Alliance.