California Environmental Justice Alliance

Building Healthy Communities from the Ground up

2017 Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda

The California Environmental Justice Alliance’s 2017 Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda features a diverse set of bills that will address climate change, promote equitable transportation planning and funding, ensure safe and affordable drinking water for all communities, require oil refineries to install air monitoring systems, fight for affordable housing, and defund the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.


2017 Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda


CEJA PRIORITY: Advance Equitable Carbon Pricing Policy

CEJA is working to advance an equitable climate policy that ensures direct emission reductions in communities most impacted by climate change. We want to see California strengthen and better align existing climate and air quality regulations to meet our 2030 target for greenhouse gas reductions and increase economic benefits for environmental justice communities. We are working to ensure proposals such as AB 378 ensure environmental justice issues are included in any climate policies, and will be closely tracking this and other related proposals.

SUPPORT (CEJA PRIORITY): AB 523 (Reyes) – Equity in Clean Energy Investments

Brings investments to disadvantaged and low-income communities to access renewable energy. Requires the California Energy Commission to allocate at least 25% of the Electric Program Investment Charge Fund for technology demonstration and deployment at sites located in disadvantaged communities, and at least 10% in low-income communities.

SUPPORT (CEJA PRIORITY): SB 366 (Leyva) – Renewable Energy for All

Expands renewable energy and increases savings for low-income customers. Improves and provides equity focus to the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program established by SB 43 by expanding available megawatts for shared renewable energy projects located in environmental justice communities.

SUPPORT (CEJA PRIORITY): SB 774 (Leyva) – Hazardous Waste Management Council

Provides transparent and accountable oversight of hazardous waste management and remediation of contaminated sites to prevent threats associated with hazardous substances. Will establish a 5-member governing board and an executive officer to exercise the adjudicatory and regulatory functions of the state in the field of hazardous substances.

SUPPORT: AB 17 (Holden) – Transit Pass Program

Advances transit equity by creating a new Transit Pass Program to be administered by the Department of Transportation. Would require the Controller of the State of California to allocate funds to support transit pass programs that provide free or reduced-fare transit passes to pupils and students.

SUPPORT: AB 20 (Kalra) – Dakota Access Pipeline Divestment

Divests California’s pension fund from the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been strongly opposed by indigenous communities and threatens critical drinking water supplies. Prohibits the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the State Teachers’ Retirement System boards from making additional investments or renewing investments in a company constructing, or funding the construction of, the Dakota Access Pipeline.

SUPPORT: AB 179 (Cervantes) – Transportation Equity Act

Ensures diverse representation on the California Transportation Commission by requiring that seven voting members have background or expertise in public health, sustainable transit and environmental justice. Would establish an Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on the CTC.

SUPPORT: AB 686 (Santiago) – Fair Housing

Advances fairness in housing regulations by requiring state and local agencies to further fair housing goals in programs, projects and policies. Would make it unlawful under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act for a public agency to fail to meet its obligation to affirmatively further fair housing. Any failure would constitute housing discrimination under the act.

SUPPORT: AB 1179 (Kalra) – Hazardous Waste Facilities: Inspections

Establishes more frequent inspections for all hazardous waste facilities in California with enhanced inspection requirements near disadvantaged communities to ensure these facilities are following proper protocol.

SUPPORT: AB 1397 (Low) – Local Planning: Housing Element

Strengthens state Housing Element Law by requiring local governments to make sure there are sufficient sites for housing development. It closes loopholes that local governments have been using to avoid ensuring adequate sites.

SUPPORT: AB 1506 (Bloom, Bonta, Chiu) – Repeal Costa-Hawkins Act

Supports equitable housing regulations by repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which ensures that local governments can stabilize rental costs in rental units.

SUPPORT: AB 1640 (E. Garcia) – Transportation Funding: Low-Income Communities

Provides direct, meaningful, and assured benefits to low-income individuals who live in certain identified communities or to riders of transit service that connects low-income residents to critical amenities and services. Requires the Department of Transportation to adopt guidelines for a regional transportation improvement program that allocate a minimum of 25% of available funds to programs that support low-income communities.

SUPPORT: AB 1645 (Muratsuchi) – Dangerous Chemicals

Protects communities at high risk of exposure to hydrogen fluoride (HF), one of the most dangerous and deadly chemicals used in the oil industry according to United States Chemical Safety Board by phasing out the use of hydrofluoric acid at refineries.

SUPPORT: AB 1647 (Muratsuchi) – Petroleum Refineries Air Monitoring

Improves ability to accurately assess air quality in communities on the fenceline of refineries. Requires air districts to require petroleum refineries to install a community air monitoring system by 2020, and to install a fence-line monitoring system in 2019.

SUPPORT: SB 49 (De León & Stern) – California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017

Protects current federal clean air, climate, clean water, worker safety, and endangered species standards enforceable under state law, and prevents the federal government to roll back and weaken those standards. Would direct state environmental, public health, and worker safety agencies to take all actions within their authorities to ensure standards enforced continue to remain in effect.

SUPPORT: SB 258 (Lara) – Clean Product Right to Know Act of 2017

Increases consumer protection and transparency in cleaning products by requiring manufacturers of cleaning products to disclose the ingredients or contaminants of concern in their products to consumers and workers on the label of the product and on the manufacturer’s website. Requires manufacturers to place a pictogram symbolizing any of the product’s hazardous ingredients on a cleaning product label.

SUPPORT: SB 584 (De León) – 100% Renewable Energy

Accelerates the state’s goal of reaching 50% renewable energy by 2025. Requires 100% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2045.

SUPPORT: SB 623 (Monning) – Safe and Affordable Drinking Water

Increases access to safe and affordable drinking water by establishing a state fund, which would make short- and long-term drinking water solutions available to low-income Californians who lack safe and affordable drinking water.

OPPOSE UNLESS AMENDED: SB 1 (Beall) – Transportation Funding

Creates a source of funding for transportation projects in California, but needs more emphasis on transportation equity and justice, such as public transit operations and active transportation programs. Increases investments in road construction, without significantly addressing air quality or climate change impacts of vehicle emissions.


Download a PDF of our 2017 Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda here.

For more information, please contact Diana Vazquez, (916) 557-1673 ext. 17