BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                    AB 1787

                                                                    Page  1


          1787 (Gomez)

          As Introduced  February 4, 2016

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Natural         |7-0  |Williams, Jones,      |                    |
          |Resources       |     |Gomez, Harper,        |                    |
          |                |     |McCarty, Mark Stone,  |                    |
          |                |     |Wood                  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |17-0 |Gonzalez, Bigelow,    |                    |
          |                |     |Bloom, Bonilla,       |                    |
          |                |     |Bonta, Calderon,      |                    |
          |                |     |Chang, Daly,          |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Eduardo    |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia,               |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |Roger Hernández,      |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Jones, Quirk, |                    |
          |                |     |Santiago, Wagner,     |                    |
          |                |     |Weber                 |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |


                                                                    AB 1787

                                                                    Page  2


          SUMMARY:  Requires the California Environmental Protection  
          Agency's (CalEPA) cross-media enforcement unit to prioritize the  
          state's most disadvantaged communities.  Specifically, this  

          1)Requires the cross-media enforcement unit to prioritize the  
            state's most disadvantaged communities when exercising its  

          2)Defines "state's most disadvantaged communities" as  
            communities identified by the California Communities  
            Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen) as the  
            disadvantaged communities most disproportionately burdened and  
            vulnerable to multiple sources of pollution. 

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, this bill has no additional state costs. 

          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 concentrations of air pollutants listed under the  
          Clean Air Act.  Air Resources Board (ARB) 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.   
          Additionally, enforcement of environmental laws tends to be more  
          rigorous in white and more affluent communities; whereas, lower  


                                                                    AB 1787

                                                                    Page  3

          income communities and communities of color tend to correlate  
          with fewer inspections and enforcement actions.  

          In 2000, legislation [SB 89 (Escutia), Chapter 728] required  
          CalEPA to convene the Environmental Justice Working Group and  
          develop an agency-wide environmental justice strategy.  In 2001,  
          follow up legislation [SB 828 (Alarcon), Chapter 765]  
          established a timeline for these requirements and required  
          CalEPA to update its report to the Legislature every three  
          years.  In October of 2004, CalEPA released its Environmental  
          Justice Action Plan; however, the agency has never completed the  
          required updates.  

          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 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 assistance.  

          In 2013, CalEPA established an Environmental Justice Compliance  
          and Enforcement Working Group (working group) to improve  
          multi-media enforcement and environmental justice efforts.  The  
          working group includes representatives from the CalEPA boards,  
          departments, and offices, as well as local agencies that have  
          enforcement authority.  According to CalEPA, the primary  
          objective of the working group is to coordinate compliance  
          assistance and enforcement activities in the state's most  
          disadvantaged communities, where multiple sources of pollution  
          exist and residents are disproportionately vulnerable.  The  


                                                                    AB 1787

                                                                    Page  4

          working group's first initiative was conducted in 2013 and 2014  
          in Fresno.  It included community consultation, compliance  
          assistance for regulated entities, and coordinated, multi-agency  
          compliance sweeps.  The initiative overall resulted in 46  
          citations for violations of air pollution regulations and three  
          enforcement actions relating to improper management of hazardous  
          waste.  The working group is in the process of selecting the  
          next community for an initiative.  

          This bill directs CalEPA's cross-media enforcement unit to focus  
          its activities on the communities that are most in need of  

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