BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                      AB 1062

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          1062 (Bonta)

          As Amended  April 7, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Natural         |9-0   |Williams, Dahle,    |                      |
          |Resources       |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Cristina Garcia,    |                      |
          |                |      |Hadley, Harper,     |                      |
          |                |      |McCarty, Rendon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Mark Stone, Wood    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |


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          |                |      |                    |                      |

          SUMMARY:  Specifies that physical projects that improve the  
          environment or the environmental health of a community, or that  
          address a specific environmental justice need are eligible for  
          grants awarded from the Environmental Justice Small Grant Program  
          (Program) and increases the total grant program from up to $1.5  
          million to not less than $5 million annually.  Specifically, this  

          1)Allows grants awarded under the Program to include physical  
            projects, including planning, engineering and construction,  
            monitoring or filtering technology, and environmental  
            assessments that improve the environment or the environmental  
            health of the community, or that address a specific  
            environmental justice need.

          2)Requires the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)  
            to expend not less than $5 million per year for environmental  
            justice grants.  Requires each board, department, or office  
            within CalEPA to allocate appropriated funds from special funds,  
            settlements, and penalties to implement this program. 

          EXISTING LAW establishes the Program to provide grants to eligible  
          community groups that are located in areas adversely affected by  
          environmental pollution and hazards and that are involved in work  
          to address environmental justice issues.  

          1)Grants are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that are  
            based in communities with the most significant exposure to  
            pollution.  They are limited to purposes of resolving  
            environmental problems through information, improving  
            coordination among public agencies and stakeholders, expanding  


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            community understanding about environmental issues, developing  
            guidance on environmental risks, promoting community  
            involvement, and using data to enhance community understanding  
            and decision-making. 

          2)Grants cannot be used for other state grant programs, lobbying  
            or advocacy activities, litigation, funding of lawsuits, or for  
            opposing technical assessments prepared by a public agency.

          3)The maximum amount of a grant shall not exceed $50,000, and the  
            Secretary for CalEPA can expend up to $1.5 million per year for  
            the program.

          4)Authorizes CalEPA to allocate funds from various special funds,  
            settlements, and penalties to implement the Program.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, increased costs of up to $5 million annually from  
          various special funds, settlements and penalties within CalEPA and  
          its constituent boards, offices and departments. 

          CalEPA awarded $540,000 in its most recent round of Program  
          grants.  Existing law authorizes CalEPA to spend up to $1.5  
          million per year but does not require it.  

          COMMENTS:  According to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard  
          Assessment (OEHHA), approximately 8 million Californians (21%)  
          live in zip codes that are considered "highly impacted" by  
          environmental, public health, and socioeconomic stressors.  Nearly  
          half of all Californians live within six miles of a facility that  
          is a significant   greenhouse gas emitter (46%), but they are  
          disproportionately people of color (62%).  Throughout California,  
          people of color face a 50% higher risk of cancer from ambient  


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          concentrations of air pollutants listed under the Clean Air Act.   
          These impacts are felt by all Californians.  The Air Resources  
          Board estimates that air pollution exposure accounts for 19,000  
          premature deaths, 280,000 cases of asthma, and 1.9 million lost  
          work days every year.

          Environmental justice is the fair treatment of people of all  
          races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development,  
          adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws,  
          regulations, and policies. 

          In 2012, SB 535 (De León), Chapter 830, required CalEPA to  
          identify disadvantaged communities for investment opportunities  
          using the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.  Pursuant to this  
          requirement, OEHHA has developed the California Communities  
          Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen) that uses  
          existing environmental, health, and socioeconomic data to  
          determine the extent to which communities across the state are  
          burdened by and vulnerable to pollution.  OEHHA states that the  
          results generated by CalEnviroScreen are not intended to assign  
          responsibility for any issues identified.  The intent is to  
          provide information that enables the state to focus time,  
          resources, and programs on areas that are in the greatest need of  

          CalEPA Environmental Justice Small Grants, established in 2002,  
          are available to help eligible non-profit community  
          groups/organizations and federally recognized Tribal Governments  
          address environmental justice issues in areas adversely affected  
          by environmental pollution and hazards.  In 2013, $249,175 was  
          awarded through Environmental Justice Small Grants projects.  A  
          minimum of $250,000 in grant funds was made available for the  
          2015/2016 grant cycle.  SB 861 (Budget and Fiscal Review), Chapter  
          35, Statutes of 2014 increased the maximum grant from $20,000 to  
          $50,000 and authorized CalEPA to expend up to $1.5 million  
          annually for the program.  The stated goals of the program  


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          1)Improve access to safe and clean water;

          2)Reduce potential for exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals;

          3)Promote community capacity building and improve communities' and  
            tribes' understanding of the technical and procedural aspects of  
            environmental decision making;

          4)Promote the development of community-based research that  
            protects and enhances public health and the environment; and,

          5)Address cumulative impacts through collaboration between  
            community-based organizations and local governments.

          This bill provides increased funding for the Program by requiring  
          the boards, departments, and offices within CalEPA to contribute.   
          This bill also adds one grant objective to the program:   
          implementation of physical projects that address environmental  
          justice issues, such as planning for open-space in park-poor areas  
          or installation of air filters to address poor air quality.  

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Elizabeth MacMillan / NAT. RES. / (916) 319-2092    


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