Environmental Justice Program

What is Environmental Justice?

The principles of environmental justice call for fairness, regardless of race, color, national origin or income, in the development of laws and regulations that affect every community's natural surroundings, and the places people live, work, play and learn.

California was one of the first states in the nation to codify environmental justice in statute. Beyond the fair treatment called for in code, leaders in the environmental justice movement work to include those individuals disproportionately impacted by pollution in decision making processes. The aim is to lift the unfair burden of pollution from those most vulnerable to its effects.

CalEnviroScreen Version 2.0

CalEnviroScreen 2.0 is a screening methodology that can be used to help identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. It is an important tool in meeting CalEPA’s commitment to environmental justice for all.

Environmental Justice Small Grants

The CalEPA Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants are available to help eligible non-profit community organizations and federally recognized Tribal governments address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. Secretary Rodriquez selects 25 projects for the 2016 EJ Grants funding, doubling the maximum amount per project to $50K and doubling the amount awarded from the last cycle to $1.1 million. View press release

Environmental Justice Program Update (June 2016)Environmental Justice Program Update, June 2016

CalEPA is required to report to the Governor and the Legislature every three years on its progress in achieving the objectives of the Intra-Agency Environmental Justice Strategy, adopted in 2004. This report details the considerable accomplishments that CalEPA and its boards, departments and office have made from 2013 to 2015. View report (PDF)


Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP)

In 2015, the Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed AB 1071 (Atkins, Chapter 585, Statutes of 2015) requiring each board, department, and office within CalEPA to establish a policy on supplemental environmental projects that includes a focus on benefiting environmental justice communities and engaging community-based organizations through an accessible and open public process.

A supplemental environmental project is an environmentally beneficial project that a person subject to an enforcement action voluntarily agrees to undertake in settlement of the action and to offset a portion of the civil penalty.

On March 30, 2016, CalEPA hosted a webinar that focused on providing participants with general information about supplemental environmental projects and the process CalEPA and its boards and departments are undertaking to implement AB 1071.

Questions regarding this webinar should be directed to Arsenio Mataka, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice and Tribal Affairs.


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