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Senate OKs Environmental Exemption for NFL Stadium*

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Some late-breaking news: The Pasadena Star-News is reporting that the California Senate voted tonight to waive environmental rules for the city of Industry's NFL stadium.

" By a 22-14 margin, a bill to exempt a proposed NFL stadium in Industry from state environmental law earned approval Wednesday in the California state Senate....The bill, sought aggressively by billionaire Ed Roski Jr. and his Majestic Realty Co. in September, would grant the 75,000-seat stadium project an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act, the environmental law that governs development. To take effect, the plan must be signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "I think the governor wants to restore the economy," said state Assemblyman Isadore Hall II, D-Compton, the bill's author." Wow. After the jump, the hastily written press release from Assemblymember Hall. Meanwhile, opponents, including groups like Citizens for Community Preservation, had been pushing for an updated EIR (environmental impact review). UPDATE*: Here's more about Citizens for Community Preservation and their fight against the stadium. This was the line from Howard Wang, the group's founder: He told us in phone call last week that his group wasn't opposed to the stadium per se, but that he felt an updated EIR was necessary for the project. UPDATE: More via the Associated Press: "If signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the bill that was approved Wednesday on a 21-14 vote, would nullify a lawsuit by residents [Citizens for Community Preservation] in the neighboring city of Walnut, who claimed that Industry approved the project without sufficiently reviewing its environmental impact. Officials with developer Majestic Realty Co. have said that they would begin approaching NFL teams about moving to the area when the current season ends." According to USA Today, the teams being suggested by Majestic (keep in this mind, this info come from Majestic): "Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders."

Los Angeles is Ready for Some Football!

Hall Measure to Build an NFL Stadium in
Los Angeles County Approved by State Senate
Project will create 18,000 New Jobs

SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate today approved ABxxx 81 by Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Isadore Hall, III (D- Compton), which would facilitate the development of the nation’s first “green” NFL stadium in Los Angeles County.

The measure was approved by a vote of 21 to 14.

Located in California’s largest media market, the proposed 75,000 seat LEED certified stadium complex would create over 18,000 jobs, generate over $762 million in economic output and over $320 million in salaries for residents throughout Los Angeles County and surrounding communities.

In 2004, stadium proponents successfully completed and certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a mixed-use development without any opposition. In 2008, a downsized proposal and a supplemental EIR was completed and certified, calling for construction of the most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable NFL stadium in the United States.

Exploiting a last minute legal maneuver, a group of eight residents sued stadium proponents and sought over $800 million in additional mitigation measures. Without the legislature relief in ABxxx 81, stadium proponents will continue to be bogged down by this frivolous lawsuit and will not be able to compete for an NFL team in early 2010.

“While exemptions to the California Environmental Quality Act are rare, there are extraordinary times when exemptions such as this one is necessary,” said Assemblymember Hall. “This is an extraordinary time for California’s economy; requiring us all to find ways to protect our environment and build our economy. The proposed stadium will be the greenest in the nation, create over 18,000 jobs and is a vital project to help rebuild our state’s economic engine.”

ABxxx 81 now heads to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for final consideration.