Environmental Justice Element
The city of Anaheim is creating an Environmental Justice Element
What is Environmental Justice?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”
Environmental justice looks at the impacts of environmental hazards for all residents regardless of race and income level. Impacts can result from either the presence or absence of certain land uses, facilities, and physical and social infrastructure.
For example, the presence of industrial businesses causing air and noise pollution, or the absence of parks and open space in a disadvantaged community are environmental justice issues.
What is an Environmental Justice Element?
The new Environmental Justice Element will become part of the city’s General Plan, which represents the community’s view of its future and is often referred to as a blueprint for growth and development.
Through the process of creating the element, the city will evaluate its existing policies and create new ones to minimize pollution and its effects on all neighborhoods, with an emphasis on those in disadvantaged communities.
The Environmental Justice Element will ensure that residents have a say in decisions that affect their quality of life and will address disproportionate impacts to disadvantaged communities in order to ensure an equal distribution of resources.
The Environmental Justice Element will cover the eight topics below:
- Reduce pollution exposure and improve air quality
- Promote public facilities
- Promote food access
- Promote safe and sanitary homes
- Promote physical activity
- Reduce any additional unique or compounded health risks
- Promote civic engagement in the public decision-making process
- Prioritize improvements and programs that address the needs of disadvantaged communities
Why is the city creating an Environmental Justice Element?
The state of California is asking cities with disadvantaged communities to incorporate environmental justice related goals, policies and programs into their general plan. More about this can be found in Senate Bill 1000, known as The Planning for Healthy Communities Act. The City is creating a stand-alone Element to have all environmental justice-related topics in one document for easy reference.
A disadvantaged community is an area of a community disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation. These areas deserve special attention to address issues of environmental justice.
Within the city of Anaheim, 51 out of 75 census tracts fall under this designation. While the environmental justice element will apply to all areas of the City, special attention will be given to disadvantaged communities.
Disadvantaged Community Locations in Anaheim (click to enlarge)
We want to hear from you!
Please click on the orange button to the right to subscribe to receive project updates via email. In addition, there will be multiple opportunities to share your input and help shape the Environmental Justice Element. Opportunities to provide your input will be shared on this website and via email.
The current outreach schedule is below:
Safety Element Update Webpage (Coming Soon)