Imperial Valley solar developers who sought to cover thousands of acres with solar panels needed construction and electrical workers to make their vision a reality.
That often meant dealing with unions that could provide those workers. The unions were eager to broker so-called project labor agreements, which usually include pacts to hire local workers and to offer certain pay and benefits.
One of those local unions sued developers and Imperial County over the approval of four solar projects collectively known as the Campo Verde and Solar Gen 2 solar farms. They didn’t challenge about 20 others proposed during Imperial County’s solar boom.
In its two lawsuits, the regional Laborers’ International Union of North America alleged violations of CEQA, a law meant to allow opponents to push for changes to a project that lessen its impact on the environment.