The California Environmental Justice Alliance’s Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda for 2019 features 16 bills that will address energy, climate, air quality, transportation, and drinking water and infrastructure improvements. From anti-displacement protections in energy efficiency programs to increasing zero emissions vehicles, these bills keep equity at the center of California’s environmental policies by bringing much needed benefits directly to disadvantaged communities.
2019 Environmental Justice Legislative Agenda
SUPPORT: AB 217 (E. Garcia) & SB 200 (Monning) Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund
Establishes the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, a reliable and ongoing funding source to ensure all Californians have access to safe, affordable drinking water. Without long-term funding support, water treatment and new clean water sources for small, rural and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged communities is cost-prohibitive.
SUPPORT: AB 1232 (Gloria) Healthy Homes Act
Creates and expands anti-displacement protections for state energy efficiency programs serving low-income customers. The bill guides agencies in data collection to ensure enforceability and to better penetrate the unregulated affordable housing market. The bill would also increase coordination and collaboration between the Low Income Weatherization Program and public health programs addressing health issues in homes of vulnerable residents.
SUPPORT: AB 1357 (Quirk) Department of Toxic Substances Control
Increases agency accountability by requiring Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to hold at least 4 public meetings a year to present on recent and upcoming decisions or actions relating to permitted hazardous waste facilities, clean up sites, and enforcement. The bill would also require DTSC’s Director to run the meetings and to provide time for public testimony.
SUPPORT: AB 1628 (R. Rivas) Bureau of Environmental Justice
Supports the Attorney General’s Bureau of Environmental Justice in its efforts to protect vulnerable communities from environmental hazards and adds “meaningful engagement” to the definition of environmental justice to ensure all voices are heard.
SUPPORT: SB 160 (Jackson) Cultural Competence in Emergency Planning
Requires counties to engage communities when updating emergency plans to ensure that local disaster preparedness and response activities (i.e. alerts, communications, evacuations, and sheltering) are culturally competent and meet diverse needs. This bill prioritizes reaching culturally diverse communities including immigrant and refugees and low-income communities of color among other groups.
SUPPORT: AB 961 (Gomez Reyes) Community Energy Benefits
Increases recognition of clean energy programs that serve environmental justice communities by ensuring that non-energy benefits factors such as reduced energy shutoffs, improved air quality and fire safety, and overall energy security are all taken into consideration by the California Public Utilities Commission during their cost-effectiveness analysis of potential programs.
CLIMATE JUSTICE | AIR QUALITY
SUPPORT: AB 423 (Gloria) San Diego Air District
Restructures the San Diego Air Pollution Control District Board so that it better reflects the diversity of San Diego County residents. The Board would include representation from additional San Diego cities and public members, including an environmental justice representative.
SUPPORT: SB 458 (Durazo) – Protect Children from Brain-Damaging Chlorpyrifos
Protects the health of children and frontline communities from the brain-toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos by prohibiting the use of the pesticide. The bill would positively impact environmental justice communities throughout the state, since these very communities, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, are disproportionately exposed to chlorpyrifos.
DRINKING WATER | INFRASTRUCTURE
SUPPORT: AB 600 (Chu) Regional Planning
Ensures local governments provide basic water and wastewater services to disadvantaged communities in unincorporated areas by requiring that they develop plans, in collaboration with a Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). This bill would ensure that these communities get the improvements and upgrades they desperately need.
SUPPORT: AB 508 (Chu) Consolidation and Extension of Water Service
Improves the State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) process for ordering mandatory extension of drinking water service to households reliant on domestic wells. It would also require the SWRCB to provide additional information about drinking water problems and potential solutions to renters, as well as prevent additional fees.
OIL & GAS
SUPPORT: AB 345 (Muratsuchi) Health and Safety Zone
Creates a 2,500-foot protective distance between oil drilling sites and homes, schools, childcare facilities, healthcare facilities, and other sensitive locations. Oil and gas extraction poses severe environmental, health, and safety risks to nearby communities, which are disproportionately low-income communities and communities of color. This bill would ensure that oil drilling does not happen within such dangerous proximity to where people live.
SUPPORT: SB 351 (Hurtado) Transformative Climate Communities
Expands the authority of the Strategic Growth Council to award neighborhood-level Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) implementation Grants to projects located in both incorporated and unincorporated communities. This bill would improve access to these grants by broadening eligibility to historically underinvested unincorporated areas where a significant percentage of the residents are low-income and people of color.
SUPPORT: SB 526 (Allen) Regional Transportation Plans
Establishes an interagency working group to develop and implement a State Mobility Action Plan for Healthy Communities to help achieve the state’s environmental, equity, climate, health and housing goals.
SUPPORT: SB 210 (Leyva) Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance Program
Authorizes the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop and implement a comprehensive heavy-duty vehicle inspection and maintenance program, including fees and penalties for noncompliance to be deposited into the new Truck Emission Check Fund.
For more information, contact Diana Vazquez
firstname.lastname@example.org, (916) 557-1673 ext. 17