The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) was created on December 2nd, 1970 by the Nixon Administration due to their rising concern of pollution created by oil spills, pesticides, and chemical contaminations. The ultimate goal of the US EPA is to maintain and enforce national standards and policies in consultation with state and local governments. In their agency, they conduct federal research, monitoring, standard setting and enforcement of environmental standards for the safety of communities. They created ten regional offices that lead the Agency’s programs seek to help attain and improve healthy air quality through research, monitoring and enforcing laws and regulations nationwide. With the aid of state environmental programs, US EPA establishes sponsor partnerships and set standards for pollutant emissions and concentrations.
The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) was formed as a state-level agency on July 17, 1991, to help restore, protect, and enhance the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vigor. In collaboration with local government officials, the business sector, and the public, they seek to enforce the US EPA regulations state wide, identify risks of chemicals in the environment, and identify solutions to ongoing air, soil, and water pollution.
The CalEPA oversees the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessments, the California Air Resource Board, the State Water Resource Control Board, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, and the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the California EPA work together to ensure environmental law regulations are being meet. The US EPA has national jurisdiction over the protection and enforcement of environmental laws, industrial emission, pollution remittance, and air quality standards. States can decide if they want to enforce federal regulations or adopt regulations of other states. Together, they are able to share knowledge on how to identify and manage hazardous wastes and steps to take to solve issues. The relationship amongst the federal and state environmental agencies ensures the public health by eliminating pollution in air, water, and soil.
National Environmental Policy Act was passed in 1969 in order to hold the government accountable of researching and considering the potential of hazards to the environment before creating a federal action. For instance, if a new airport or highway is proposed in a city, there must be environmental assessments and impact statements created by all federal agencies
The Pollution Prevention Act was created in 1990 and sought to regulate the production, operation, and use of raw materials to reduce the amount of pollution in the environment. It focuses on source reduction, which reduces the hazardous substances before recycling or disposal in order to minimize the amount of substances entering the environment. To achieve their goal, pollution prevention includes improvements in their technology, procedures, materials, and maintenance.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) forces state agencies to regulate the activities of both public and private agencies in order to prevent environmental pollution. If a new project is proposed, environmental impact reports must be made to identify the environmental impacts. If the projects proposed demonstrate significant environmental damage, they cannot be approved.
Newson aims to make California 100% dependent on renewable energy by moving away from using nuclear and oil energy to safer alternatives such as solar, wind, and ocean based energy. He also hopes to enforce efficiency standards and construction codes to create a greener environment. Newson recognizes that California’s drought is a result of climate change and to preserve clean water. He understands that many low income communities that are predominantly community of color are being affected by contaminated water, which is why he seeks to implement drip irrigation, replenish groundwater, and protect our sources of water to ensure agriculture and communities acquire clean water
Cristina Garcia has lead numerous fights for environmental justice in Sacramento. Her agency and advocacy have establish bills, such as Bill 247 and AB 2153, to improve the health of local communities.
Garcia proposed AB 2153 or Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016, which reallocated the $1 fee of car batteries to cleanup lead contamination all over California.
Garcia also proposed Assembly Bill 247 to create a statewide union to combat lead poisoning. Its goal is to reduce the negative health effects lead exposure has by sharing information within numerous government agencies and organizations. These are some of the acts Garcia has taken to Sacramento, to read about others click below.
Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia has tackled climate change by introducing bills that seek to restore parks and open space and the health of folks in low income communities. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 248, or ACR 248, aims to provide access to everyone in the state of California to a park, trail, and/or open space.Air Pollution in Schools, or AB 2453, recognizes that children of low income communities of color become exposed to higher amounts of pollution in school sites. For this reason, the bill added Section 44391.3 to the Healthy and Safety code, which provides available funding to improve air quality.
Ricardo Lara is advocate for environmental justice not only because he grew up in the industrial regions of Los Angeles, but he also seeks to aid the healthy of low income communities of color.
Senator Lara authored Senate Bill 605 in 2014, which required the California Air Resources Board to develop a short-lived climate pollutants strategy.
“Senator Lara also authored Senate Bill1204 in 2014, which created the California Clean Truck, Bus, and Off-Road Vehicle and Equipment Technology Program. The legislation accelerated the deployment of low-emission trucks, buses, and clean freight technology.” This bill was reinforced in 2017 by allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Air Resource Board to limit pollution in communities near railroads or bussing transportation.
The CalEPA Regulated Site Portal is a tool that combines data from all the environmental regulated agencies in California into a single database and interactive map. The portal was created to provide a more holistic view of regulated activities statewide and also make information, such as activities that include hazardous materials and waste, state and federal cleanups, impacted ground and surface waters, and toxic materials, accessible to the public.
The California Healthy Places Index (HPI) is a new tool that explores local factors that predict life expectancy and comparing community conditions across the state. The HPI provides overall scores and more detailed data on specific policy action areas that shape health, like housing, transportation, education and more