Environmental Policy

Through our Environmental Policy Program, we advocate for strong environmental health and justice policies while expanding opportunities for public participation.  We ensure that legislators and regulators know the environmental concerns of their constituents.  We praise good decisions and condemn negative actions (or the lack of needed action).

We currently serve on several stakeholder and advisory groups working on environmental health and justice policies.

California Environmental Protection Agency

California Environmental Rights Alliance Executive Director Dr. Joseph Lyou serves on the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Advisory Committee on Environmental Justice.  On September 30, 2003, the Advisory Committee finalized and approved a report identifying environmental justice recommendations to Cal/EPA.  The report has set an important precedent for environmental justice policy development in California and throughout the United States.  It addresses public participation, the use of precautionary measures in making environmental decisions, cumulative environmental impacts, permitting, research and data collection, agency accountability measures, and other important environmental justice issues.  On October 14, 2003, the Cal/EPA Interagency Working Group approved a resolution endorsing the recommendations report and agreed to use the recommendations in the development of a Cal/EPA environmental justice strategy.  Cal/EPA has initiated a two-track approach to implementing the Advisory Committee's recommendations, which includes a long-term Environmental Justice Strategy and a short-term Environmental Justice Action Plan.  See our Take Action page for more information.     

Air Resources Board

California Environmental Rights Alliance staff and Advisory Board members participate in the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB’s) Environmental Justice Stakeholders Group. The stakeholder group process has resulted in the publication of an Air Quality and Land Use Handbook (pdf, 1.5 mb), Public Participation Guidebook (pdf, 504 kb), Environmental Justice Work Plan (pdf, 135 kb), and Complaint Resolution Protocol (pdf, 215 kb). ARB created these documents to fulfill commitments made in their Environmental Justice Policies and Action Items (pdf, 501 kb), which was adopted in December 2001.

South Coast Air Quality Management District

California Environmental Rights Alliance staff and Advisory Board members are working to assure the full and timely implementation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (AQMD’s) Cumulative Impacts Reduction Strategy. The Cumulative Impacts Reduction Strategy calls for the development of “rules” (i.e., regulations) and other measures to assess and reduce cumulative environmental impacts of air pollutants. AQMD initiated this policymaking process as part of their Environmental Justice Program Enhancements, which the agency adopted in September 2002 at the urging of California Environmental Rights Alliance staff and Advisory Board members.


The California Environmental Rights Alliance relies upon your generosity to make our work possible.  Please see our Donate section to learn how you can support our efforts.