by By Kerry Jackson : foxesandhounds – ecerpt
The roots of California’s environmental regulations can be traced back to 1884. That’s the year a federal judge ordered miners to stop using water cannons to batter the Sierra hillsides to separate gold from the soil and rock, but also left behind a broken and ugly landscape.
The process, called hydraulic mining, had devastating effects. The water-sediment slurry it produced was flushed into rivers and streams, causing a surge that bruised and grated everything in its way. Property rights were violated downstream when the gravel, sand and other debris buried farms, and towns were flooded when collected sediment rendered waterways too shallow. Rivers and streams became unnavigable, and the environmental impacts were appalling, as fish-rich waters were contaminated and large chunks of mountainsides were scoured away.
California environmental laws and regulations have since gone from legitimate restrictions protecting property rights and heading off ecological ruin to overbearing edicts that have consumed businesses in the state and dragged down the economy. The worst of them, maybe even the worst in the entire country, is the California Environmental Quality Act, known to both those who wield it like a club and those who are its victims as CEQA… (more)
The passion for CEQA reform lies in the heart of the developers who want no opposition ot anything they want to do with no responsibility for the consequences.