Environmental Justice

In 2002, the Commission adopted an environmental justice policy. Since then, much has changed with respect to how state and local governments incorporate and consider environmental justice in policies and decisions. The Commission is updating its environmental justice policy and is outreaching to environmental justice communities and to others to elicit input that will shape our revised policy. Please send any comments or questions via email to environmentaljustice@slc.ca.gov or Sheri Pemberton, Chief of the External Affairs Division.

As part of our policy update, we have developed initial draft principles as a starting point, and welcome your feedback. The draft principles are:

  • Develop a plan for identifying when environmental justice communities may be adversely impacted by Commission decisions.
  • Assure meaningful community representation in the Commission’s decision-making process, beginning at the earliest possible time.
  • Explore new ideas and seek guidance and information from local, state and federal entities who have environmental justice expertise, and identify effective strategies to integrate environmental justice concepts into the Commission’s decisions and to resolve environmental justice issues. Build on available resources and technology to develop an environmental justice action plan to aid the Commission in putting these principles into practice.
  • Stay apprised of the latest technology and tools to increase and maximize public participation and accessibility; explore opportunities to promote environmental justice, and forge relationships with traditionally marginalized communities and others that typically have not participated in the Commission’s decision-making process.
  • Recognize the interrelated cultural, social, occupational, historical, or economic factors that may amplify the environmental effects of a proposed action or decision.
  • Provide staff training and education about environmental justice to ensure staff clearly understands environmental justice issues associated with the Commission’s actions.
  • Provide outreach to environmental justice communities about the Commission, its jurisdiction, and its land and resource management responsibilities, including the Public Trust Doctrine and its guiding principle that trust lands belong to the public and are meant to be managed for the benefit of all people.
  • Strive to provide information in multiple languages for which the Commission receives public comment.
  • Include environmental justice as a component in the Commission’s environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act. Promote the exploration of creative solutions that achieve project objectives while minimizing adverse impacts to disadvantaged communities.
  • Include terms in leases and approvals that provide for, protect, and enhance public access to sovereign lands and waterways.

Latest News

  • The CalEPA Small Grants program offers funding opportunities to assist eligible non-profit community organizations and federally-recognized Tribal governments to address environmental justice issues in areas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and hazards. It is now accepting applications for new projects for 2018. The application deadline is February 28, 2018.

  • The Strategic Growth Council is hosting three Climate Change Research Program Workshops to release its draft research investment plan. The top research priority is to "support and protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change." Other research priorities are also closely related to Environmental Justice communities.

Additional Information

Comments and Contact

Please send any comments or questions via email to environmentaljustice@slc.ca.gov or via mail to:

Sheri Pemberton
Chief, External Affairs Division
100 Howe Avenue, Suite 100 South
Sacramento CA 95825
(916) 574-1800