California environment law

Climate and environmental justice AB 1001: Under the California Environmental Quality Act, government agencies can approve polluting industrial facilities or other harmful projects in underserved communities even if “mitigation” measures designed to mitigate the environmental impacts do not actually benefit those residents. This bill would change that by requiring CEQA mitigation to occur directly in at-risk neighborhoods. For the first time, it would also require government agencies to consider environmental justice in CEQA reviews.

AB 1778: This bill would prohibit the expansion of freeways in areas with high levels of pollution and poverty. It was prompted by reporting from my colleagues Liam Dillon and Ben Poston, who discovered that over the last 30 years, more than 200,000 people have lost their homes due to federal road projects, with some of the largest projects displacing Black and Latino families disproportionately. Just this week, Liam reported that even canceled highway projects can cause long-term harm to communities.

Cristina Garcia is the author (D-Bell Gardens)
Referred to the Transportation Committee

AB 1857: Despite California’s push for more recycling and composting, two municipal waste incinerators — massive machines that burn trash — continue to operate in Long Beach and Stanislaus County, adding pollution to low-income communities that already face significant environmental challenges. The operators of the facilities actually receive credits for burning trash rather than disposing of it in landfills. This bill would repeal those credits and require cities to prioritize recycling and composting over incineration.

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