CalRecycle Staff Attends LA Environmental Justice Symposium
The Environmental Health and Enforcement Symposium, hosted in part by the Los Angeles Environmental Justice Network, took place on April 10and 11 in downtown Los Angeles. Communication—both among CalEPA’s boards, departments, and offices and between regulators and community members—was a key theme of the symposium. CalRecycle representatives attended to hear directly from community members and to network with other regulatory agencies.
Environmental justice advocates and employees from different state and local agencies attended and gave presentations. Community members shared concerns about pollution in their communities and asked about enforcement of environmental laws. Government officials discussed how to work with state agencies to better protect communities near regulated facilities.
Workshops and sessions were held to familiarize attendees with tools such as CalEnviroScreen, the state’s tool to identify communities overburdened by pollution; the Spatial Prioritization Geographic Information Tool (SPGIT), which helps identify sources and threats to our groundwater; and Geo Tracker GAMA, the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program that displays water quality data from various sources.
A panel titled “Creating Effective Community Partnerships” brought together governmental officials and community advocates to offer tips and best practices for partnerships and to discuss roadblocks to effective communication.
In addition, the recent Paramount Enforcement Initiative was discussed as a case study in which different regulating agencies came together to effectively address a direct health concern in the city of Paramount.
Here are some helpful tools and resources highlighted during the symposium:
- CalEPA’s Regulated Site Portal, which brings together different data sets to help the public access information about facilities in their areas and to help facilitate enforcement coordination among CalEPA’s boards, departments, and offices. A FAQsection helps the public identify facilities, potential pollution sources, and the proper government agency responsible for regulating such facilities.
- CalEPA’s new online complaint system, which routes public complaints to the appropriate regulating agency.
- Breathe Well, an app that assesses your location and provides Air Quality Data (AQI) and Next Generation Air Monitoring (NGAM).
CalRecycle continues to strive for better communication with communities and to ensure that environmental justice principles are reflected in all our data-sf-ec-immutable="">.
To learn more about CalRecycle’s environmental justice program please visit: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/EnvJustice/