California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday said that President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the border will run into trouble in California.
Speaking with ‘The Gold State’ podcast, he said that the state could sue under the California Environmental Quality Act or its federal equivalent, the National Environmental Policy Act, utilizing a common tactic that has been used to delay or kill various development projects around the state.
“There’s something called CEQA in California — NEPA at the federal level,” Newsom said. “There’s indigenous lands and autonomies relating to governance on those lands. There are all kinds of obstructions as it relates to just getting zoning approval and getting building permits. All those things could be made very, very challenging for the administration.”
The law, which was passed in 1970, has been credited with help protecting the state’s environment, but also is a frequent source of criticism for its unintended consequences. Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to spur housing development last year collapsed in part because environmentalists and labor unions believed the plan was an end-run around CEQA.