96 Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective
(c) There is a need to understand the relationship between the
maintenance of high-quality ecological systems and the general
welfare of the people of the state, including their enjoyment of the
natural resources of the state.
(d) The capacity of the environment is limited, and it is the
intent of the Legislature that the government of the state take
immediate steps to identify any critical thresholds for the health
and safety of the people of the state and take all coordinated
actions necessary to prevent such thresholds being reached.
(e) Every citizen has a responsibility to contribute to the
preservation and enhancement of the environment.
(f) The interrelationship of policies and practices in the
management of natural resources and waste disposal requires
systematic and concerted efforts by public and private interests to
enhance environmental quality and to control environmental
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that all agencies of the
state government which regulate activities of private individuals,
corporations, and public agencies which are found to affect the
quality of the environment, shall regulate such activities so that
major consideration is given to preventing environmental damage,
while providing a decent home and satisfying living environment for
every Californian (State of California, 2005).
Certainly, earthquake safety is covered by this Act. However, in 1998,
California Senate Bill 60 (Ch. 327) was passed, which included a provision
that extended a previous CEQA exemption for seismic retrofit projects on
state-owned toll bridges until the date the retrofit activities are certified
complete or June 30, 2005, whichever comes first.
AN ENGINEERING PERSPECTIVE
The feasibility of building the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge was
first investigated by government engineers in 1924. They determined that
this bridge was impractical due to earthquake faults and the difficulty of
finding solid anchorage on the muddy bottom. However, President
Herbert Hoover, who was an engineer, took an interest in the bridge idea.
With California Governor C. C. Young, they appointed the Hoover-Young
Commission. In its report submitted in August 1930, the commission stated
that not only was the bridge necessary for area development, but that the
bridge was “entirely feasible from economic and construction viewpoints”
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