Tribe loses its legal bet
against rival Indian casino
The governor is not a “public agency” subject to requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act. As of Wednesday, that’s the law unless the state Supreme Court sees it differently.
The question came up in connection with Gov. Jerry Brown’s concurrence with a federal decision – required by law for the project to move forward – that a new gambling establishment in Madera County would not be detrimental to the surrounding community.
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The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians plans to build a casino next to Highway 99 in Madera County, about 30 miles from a casino operated by the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians. Despite requests by the Picayune tribe and others that he prepare an environmental impact report, Brown issued his concurrence without one in August.
The Picayune tribe sued, saying Brown’s action should have been subject to the CEQA environmental review process. The governor’s lawyers argued that Brown is not subject to the requirement because he is not a “public agency” under CEQA.
On Wednesday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento agreed.
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