Senate, California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Senate Resolution No. 22

Introduced by Senators Allen, Beall, Block, De León, Galgiani, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Leyva, Liu, McGuire, Monning, Pavley, Wieckowski, and Wolk

Relative to California Earth Day

WHEREAS, Forty-five years ago, on the first Earth Day, millions of Americans of all ages, walks of life, and political affiliations joined together and took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies; and

WHEREAS, Public awareness of environmental issues, fostered by the first Earth Day, has led to the enactment of key federal laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and to the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which was established to implement, administer, and enforce laws protecting the environment; and

WHEREAS, The spirit of the first Earth Day has continued to increase public environmental awareness, inspiring many Californians to make individual decisions that reduce adverse environmental impacts; and

WHEREAS, The California environment, including its rocky coasts, sandy beaches, redwood forests, deserts, and towering mountains, is among the most beautiful in the nation; and

WHEREAS, California is recognized as a global leader in environmental protection and economic innovation; and

WHEREAS, The Legislature recognizes and has helped safeguard the state’s unique scenic beauty, natural resources, and the quality of its water, air, and land through the enactment of laws including the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Act of 1976, the Hazardous Waste Control Law, the California Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008, the Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Act of 2008, and the California’s Safer Consumer Products Law; and

WHEREAS, The voters have ratified the intent of the Legislature to protect the environment by approving the Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, and Flood Protection Bond Act of 2000, the Safe Neighborhood Parks, Clean Water, Clean Air, and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2000, the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, and the California Clean Energy Jobs Act; and

WHEREAS, California residents have stated that the health impacts of poor air quality is their highest environmental health priority; and

WHEREAS, California has made tremendous efforts in improving the air quality in the Los Angeles Basin, effectively reducing asthma and respiratory illnesses in children and the elderly; and

WHEREAS, The Legislature has recognized the need to protect California’s drinking water through the passage of the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, leading to the establishment of a public health goal for methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) in 1999 and for perchlorate in 2004; and

WHEREAS, The work done by the Office of Planning and Research, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, and the Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice, acting on legislative mandate, through the Environmental Justice Program, has effected public health and environmental protection programs, policies, and activities in a manner that is designed to promote equality and afford fair treatment, full access, and full protection to all Californians, including low income and minority populations; and

WHEREAS, Clean energy jobs are growing across the state, and the protection of California’s natural resources helps stimulate our economy, especially for industries relating to tourism, fishing, and new technologies, and enhances our quality of life; and

WHEREAS, Activities to celebrate, on April 22, 2015, the 45th anniversary of the first Earth Day, will focus public attention on and encourage personal and community participation in environmental protection through recycling, conserving energy and water, encouraging use of renewable resources, using efficient transportation such as alternative fueled vehicles, adopting sustainable building practices, and other environmentally responsible personal actions; and

WHEREAS, Earth Day 2015 will provide an impetus for additional protection of the environment and our health, and the continued local, state, national, and international efforts that will be required at an unprecedented level during the next decade in order to remedy the environmental problems that we face; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That April 22, 2015, is hereby declared to be “California Earth Day”; and be it further

Resolved, That the Senate reaffirms its commitment to the fundamental principles that underlie the state’s environmental laws, including the protection of human health from environmental hazards through the prevention of environmental risks and the maintenance of health-based standards; the continuance of programs to safeguard air and water quality; the recycling and reuse of materials, whenever feasible, to reduce the economic and environmental costs of disposal, and to recapture the value of these materials for the state’s economy; the effective cleanup of pollution of the state’s land, air, and water resources; the preservation of natural ecosystems; and maintenance of the fundamental right of the public to know about environmental hazards and to fully participate in public decisions regarding the environment; and be it further

Resolved, That the Senate recognizes the importance of the environment and encourages residents to include in their daily lives those activities that promote the goals of Earth Day 2015.

Senate Resolution No. 22 read and adopted by the Senate April 20, 2015.

Attest: _______________________________________

Secretary of the Senate