‘Environmental justice’ is new law

A place to call home: Assemblymember Robert Rivas in front of the Vista Del Oro apartments in Hollister. The development is newly constructed farmworker housing on San Juan Road.

Bill was written by Robert Rivas

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 1628, authored by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) to ease pollution costs for communities.

“I am thrilled that Gov. Newsom has signed AB 1628 into law, a critical step toward achieving environmental justice for communities that too often bear a disproportionate share of harmful pollution,” stated Rivas.

AB 1628 updates the state’s definition of “environmental justice” to include the “meaningful involvement” of people of all races, cultures, incomes and national origins with respect to the development, adoption, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies to ensure low-income communities and communities of color are substantially involved in the decision-making process.

“Whether it’s about access to clean air and drinking water or safe and affordable housing, everyone deserves protection from environmental and health hazards and must be empowered to be involved in key decisions that impact their communities,” Rivas said in a statement. 

Tiffany Eng, green zones program manager at the California Environmental Justice Alliance stated, “AB 1628 will help to ensure that communities that have experienced long legacies of pollution and neglect—predominantly low-income communities and communities of color—will be meaningfully involved in the decisions that affect their health and livelihoods. We would like to thank Gov. Newsom for signing this bill to create a healthier California for all, and Assemblymember Robert Rivas for his leadership on this important issue.” 

“This critical revision will equip our most polluted communities with the power to be heard and taken seriously in fighting harmful environmental pollution where they live, work, and go to school, said Rivas. “I applaud the governor for his support and commitment to environmental justice for all.”

Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes Gilroy, Hollister, Morgan Hill and San Juan Bautista.

Leave your comments