Infrastructure and budget legislation signed to ‘build more, faster’ across California

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California Construction News staff writer

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed an infrastructure streamlining package accelerating construction timelines on projects needed to the help build a 100 per cent clean electric grid, ensure safe drinking water, boost the state’s water supply and modernize our transportation system.

The legislation is being called an urgent push to take advantage of an unprecedented $180 billion in state, local, and federal infrastructure funds over the next ten years.

By streamlining permitting, cutting red tape, and allowing state agencies to use new project delivery methods, this legislation will accelerate timelines of projects across the state, while ensuring appropriate environmental review and community engagement.

“For decades, infrastructure projects critical to our future have stalled because of a pervasive mindset of ‘no.’ With this legislation, California is saying ‘yes’ to building the clean energy, safe drinking water and transportation projects we need to deliver on our world-leading climate action. Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and build California’s future,” Newsom said.

With “once-in-a-generation” federal and state funding available for infrastructure projects, California is competing against other states and “can’t let red tape and endless litigation hold up the projects California needs to cut pollution, generate clean energy and conserve water,” officials said.

New legislation includes methods to offer a streamlined process for project delivery to reduce project timeframes and costs. It will also speed up judicial review to avoid long delays and advance projects without reducing the environmental and government transparency benefits of CEQA.

Changes are also being made to California law to accelerate permitting for certain projects, reducing delays and project costs and to procedures around document collection and assembly in litigation after projects have already been approved.

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