Cal/EPA creates new EJ Working Group

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 12, 2013 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Matt Rodriquez, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), has announced the creation of a new agency-wide working group focused on environmental justice (EJ) and improving compliance with state environmental laws in communities most burdened by pollution.  The new "Environmental Justice Compliance and Enforcement Working Group" is part of an ongoing effort to integrate EJ considerations into CalEPA’s mission to help ensure that California communities disproportionately affected by pollution are given particular consideration. 

The Working Group will focus on multiple types of pollution (air, water, toxics, solid waste and pesticides) simultaneously by bringing each of the boards, departments and offices together in a coordinated fashion.

The creation of this group represents one of the first applications of CalEnviroScreen, a newly created tool for identifying California communities most burdened by pollution. The Working Group will use CalEnviroScreen to establish priority areas for coordinated compliance and enforcement efforts.

Tactically, the Working Group will focus on outreach to affected communities for their involvement. Working with local partners, the group will provide opportunities for community stakeholders to express concerns, and will incorporate community input in its efforts to educate regulated business about environmental protection laws.

Members of the Working Group include the enforcement chiefs from the Department of Toxics Substances Control, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, CalRecycle, the Air Resources Board and the State Water Resources Control Board, as well as a representative from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Other members include CalEPA’s deputy secretary for law enforcement and counsel, the assistant secretary for environmental justice and tribal affairs, and the assistant general counsel for enforcement. Representatives from local environmental law enforcement agencies will also be invited to participate in the Working Group..

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