AB 1330: transforming California’s toxic hotspots
We want healthy hoods, not toxic hotspots!
CEJA has been working with the Speaker of the Assembly John A. Perez to develop one of the biggest environmental justice bills in years! In September 2013, AB 1330 saw major amendments, turning it into a hugely important bill for our communities throughout California. We are now working with the Speaker to ensure this bill becomes law in 2014!
What would AB 1330 do? Click here for the AB 1330 factsheet.
AB 1330 includes a range of policy solutions that will help transform overburdened neighborhoods into healthy, thriving communities. The solutions include:
1. Identify overburdened communities:
- Using a cumulative impact screening tool, the California Environmental Protection Agency will create a designated list of areas that are disproportionately burdened by pollution. This list creates a framework for future environmental justice efforts, and the communities on the list will be eligible for a range of benefits specified in the bill.
2. Increase environmental enforcement in highly impacted areas:
Create stronger penalties for major environmental violations in overburdened communities. Fines for environmental violations that are a threat to the public health should be doubled when they occur in overburdened communities.
Prioritize enforcement efforts within the California Environmental Protection Agency in overburdened communities. There is an already existing program – the Cross-Media Enforcement Unit – at CalEPA that was created to look at pollution across programs and work collaboratively to address multi-source contamination, and this unit should be focus its enforcement efforts on environmental justice communities.
3. Protect the right of public participation for all Californians, regardless of language:
Clarify that any time used for interpretation for non-English speakers during public comment does not detract from the person’s overall allotted time at public hearings.
4. Increase resources in overburdened areas:
For any fine that is doubled because it is placed on facility in an environmental justice community, that money should go into a Green Zones Trust Fund that supports community projects in environmental justice communities. The Trust Fund shall be overseen and administered by the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Ensure the environmental grant programs preference projects in environmental justice areas through their application process.
Increase the maximum allowable grant size for EJ Small Grants, an already existing state grant program, from 20,000 to 50,000.
5. Ensure public transparency of environmental compliance and statewide efforts to achieve environmental justice:
Create an online database of that outlines whether facilities have complied or not with state environmental laws, and includes any pending enforcement actions.
Requires a report from the California Environmental Protection Agency on progress to achieving environmental justice and the major barriers to doing so.
6. Ensure California has an equitable, sustainable plan for reducing and managing hazardous waste:
Requires the Department of Toxic Substance Control to develop a plan for reducing the generation and disposal of hazardous waste, including strategies to reduce the use of hazardous materials and strategies to reduce the risk of exposure to communities near contaminated sites and hazardous material releases, and create a public advisory committee to oversee the process.