California law (Government Code § 65040.12) defines Environmental Justice as: “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.”
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has developed and implemented an Environmental Justice program. Following an in-depth internal analysis, the AQMD Board of Directors adopted a set of six Environmental Justice Policies (PDF) in April of 2006. The Board adopted an implementation plan in July of 2006. At the July, 2007 Board meeting, the status of the Environmental Justice Implementation Plan (PDF) was reviewed. Implementation is complete.
The AQMD Board of Directors formalized Environmental Justice Policies (PDF) on April 27, 2006, which include the following goals:
- Integrate environmental justice into all programs, policies, and regulations.
- Strive to improve our outreach and education
- Work toward meeting health-based air quality standards and reduce health risks from toxic air pollutants in all communities, including low-income and minority communities, through adoption of control measures and promotion of pollution prevention programs.
- Ensure that enforcement and permitting activities are consistent and fair.
- Assess, consider, and reduce emissions, exposures, and health risks when developing and implementing our programs.
- Work with local land use agencies, transportation agencies, and others to develop ways to assess and reduce cumulative emissions, exposures, and health risks from air pollution through general plans, discretionary project review, permitting, and other local actions.
The AQMD's Environmental Justice Implementation Plan (PDF) contains action items and progress status through August 2007.
Two AQMD incentive programs have specific provisions directing funding to Environmental Justice or related areas:
- Carl Moyer Program funds ( for low-emission engine technology for heavy-duty vehicles and mobile off-road equipment ) must be distributed such that not less than 50% will directly benefit low-income communities and communities of color that are disproportionately impacted by air pollution.
- The AQMD's Wood Stoves & Wood Fireplace Change Out Incentive Program has an Environmental Justice element which requires that 50% of the funding must go to Environmental Justice areas.
The AQMD has prepared a Public Participation Handbook (English) (PDF) / Public Participation Handbook (Spanish) (PDF)to describe the most common functions of the AQMD and to help facilitate involvement by all communities within its jurisdiction.
The AQMD contact for Environmental Justice is Tim Taylor: 916 874-4814 or firstname.lastname@example.org