State Looking to Require Cities to Plan for Rising Seas

California officials are taking their first, tentative steps toward requiring cities to plan for severe sea level rise that scientists now say could conceivably elevate high tides by up to 22 feet by the middle of the next century. Such a deluge would overtake much of San Francisco’s southeastern waterfront, submerge huge swaths of West Oakland and Alameda, and inundate large portions of cities along the Peninsula and in the South Bay.  Read more

Critics See Environmental Threats in State Rule Changes That Speed Housing

California is losing valuable environmental protections in its pursuit of “streamlined” land-use regulations that speed housing construction, some environmental advocates say. Long-standing state rules affecting soil pollution, traffic congestion and flood control will be weakened in legislation pushed by Democratic lawmakers from San Francisco and signed by Gov.  Read more

California’s Push for Affordable Housing Could Weaken Environmental Law

California lawmakers are considering more than 130 bills aimed at solving the housing-affordability crisis. While housing activists are encouraged, the Legislature’s efforts could chip away at longstanding protections in the state’s landmark environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act. Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to sign any new efforts to fund housing that do not include changes that streamline the land development process.  Read more

By Weakening Law, Developers Shift Sea Rise Burden to Cities

California politicians expressed outrage in March when details of a White House budget proposal suggested President Trump would slash a $1 billion environmental grant for restoring San Francisco Bay marshes. And they were apoplectic about the executive order revoking special status for wetlands considered until now to be “waters of the United States.”  Read more

Projects Sailed Through Despite Dire Flood Study

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px ‘Century Schoolbook’; min-height: 15.0px} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 23.1px; font: 23.0px ‘Century Schoolbook’} span.s1 {font: 12.0px ‘Century Schoolbook’} Giants, Warriors won approvals before voters and officials learned of risks    A city-commissioned environmental study that detailed how the Mission Bay neighborhood would be inundated by rising seas in coming decades went unpublished for more than a year while two showcase waterfront developments won key approvals from city officials and voters, a Public Press review of records shows.  Read more