Amended in Senate August 31, 2015

Amended in Senate August 18, 2015

Amended in Assembly May 7, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1071


Introduced by Assembly Members Atkins and Eduardo Garcia

February 26, 2015


An act to add Section 71118 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental justice.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1071, as amended, Atkins. Supplemental environmental projects.

Existing law requires the Secretary for Environmental Protection to convene a Working Group on Environmental Justice to assist the secretary in developing an agencywide strategy for identifying and addressing gaps in existing programs, policies, or activities of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s boards, departments, and offices that may impede the achievement of environmental justice.

This bill would require each board, department, and office within the agencybegin insert that has enforcement authorityend insert to establish a specified policy on supplemental environmental projects, as defined, that benefits disadvantaged communities, as defined.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(1) Many communities across California are located in areas
4disproportionately impacted from multiple sources of pollution,
5including air and water pollution, leading to higher rates of
6respiratory illness, hospitalizations, and premature death.

7(2) These environmentally impacted communities, also known
8as environmental justice communities, need resources to
9appropriately address environmental health impacts and to
10implement community-led solutions.

11(3) One way that environmental justice communities can see
12direct environmental and public health benefits in their
13neighborhoods is through the implementation of supplemental
14environmental projects, which allow entities in violation of
15environmental laws to voluntarily undertake environmental projects
16as part of a settlement of an enforcement action.

17(4) Currently, not all boards, departments, and offices within
18the California Environmental Protection Agency have policies on
19supplemental environmental projects, and those with policies
20largely lack a focus on how to best help environmental justice
21communities.

22(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature that all boards,
23departments, and officesbegin insert within the California Environmental
24Protection Agency that have enforcement authorityend insert
develop a
25policy on supplemental environmental projects that includes a
26focus on benefiting environmental justice communities and
27engaging community-based organizations through an accessible
28and open public process.

29

SEC. 2.  

Section 71118 is added to the Public Resources Code,
30to read:

31

71118.  

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms
32have the following meanings:

33(1) “Agency” means the California Environmental Protection
34Agency.

35(2) “Disadvantaged community” means a community identified
36pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code.

37(3) “Supplemental environmental project” means an
38environmentally beneficial project that a person subject to an
P3    1enforcement action voluntarily agrees to undertake in settlement
2of the action and to offset a portion of a civil penalty.

3(b) Each board, department, and office within the agencybegin insert that
4has enforcement authorityend insert
shall establish a policy on supplemental
5environmental projects that benefits disadvantaged communities.
6The policy shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the
7following:

8(1) A public process to solicit potential supplemental
9environmental projects from disadvantaged communities.

10(2) Allowing the amount of a supplemental environmental
11project to be up to 50 percent of the enforcement action brought
12under the jurisdiction of a board, department, or office within the
13agency.

14(3) An annual list of supplemental environmental projects that
15may be selected to settle a portion of an enforcement action under
16the jurisdiction of a board, department, or office within the agency.

17(4) A consideration of the relationship between the location of
18the violation and the location of the proposed supplemental
19environmental project.

20(c) The Secretary for Environmental Protection shall consolidate
21the projects compiled pursuant to subdivision (b) into one list and
22post that list on the agency’s Internet Web site.



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