The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) is behind schedule. The plan to build a P25 digital trunked system for voice coupled with an LTE system for data serving 34,000 first responders has suffered a string of delays that already cost it millions in federal funding. California legislators are now trying an innovative method to speed things up, according to the LA Times.
State lawmaker passed a bill that would provide a four- year exemption of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires the completion of an environmental impact report (EIR) concerning the effect on the environment for the design, site acquisition, construction, operation, or maintenance of certain structures and equipment of the LA-RICS.
The bill, which now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature, would go into effect immediately because it is an emergency law.
The bill is designed to expedite construction of the system, which has seen equipment purchases get tangle up in bureaucratic red tape. Under CEQA, construction on the first tower could not begin until the EIR on the last tower was complete. The system is expected to take five years to build out at a cost of several hundred million dollars.