Professor Jonathan K. London of the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis spoke to ECOS at our September 18th Board Meeting about their work on Environmental Justice. The Center for Regional Change has grown into a well-known policy-oriented research organization that aims to create linkages between the university and the region of which it is a part.
Professor London presented several tactics for how an organization such as the ECOS coalition can do more to help improve social equity in the Sacramento region. London directed us to get to know the Center for Regional Change’s report called “Capitalizing Environmental Justice in the Sacramento Region.” The report assesses the dire conditions of environmental injustice confronting low-income communities and communities of color in California’s Capital Region. However, local residents and regional leaders have begun to develop a cohesive framework for action to improve conditions in their communities, and to contribute to the region’s burgeoning Environmental Justice movement.
London reminded us of the plethora of information offered by CalEnviroScreen, including some analyses done by the Center for Regional Change on mapping pollution levels and drinking water contamination in the Sacramento region.
London also highlighted a tool called “IVAN” (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods). IVAN is an Environmental Monitoring System that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems.
The presentation emphasized the importance of environmental injustices to people living in rural areas and engaging them in environmental advocacy work. Connecting with neighborhoods, working to help bolster affordable housing options and joining food justice efforts are all also effective.
ECOS members in attendance were appreciative of the presentation, its cutting-edge research and the new tools for advocacy with which we left. Thank you to Jonathan K. London!
You can suggest future speakers to present to ECOS by emailing our office at office [at] ecosacramento [dot] net.
On September 11, 2017, ECOS submitted our comments on the Draft Recirculated Environmental Impact Report (DREIR) for the Proposed Kammerer/Highway 99 Sphere Of Influence Amendment (SOIA) Application for the City of Elk Grove.
We appreciate the added attention to detail offered in the recirculated draft EIR, but rather than alleviate our concerns expressed in our original letter, the DREIR only further confirms those concerns. ECOS remains strongly opposed to the proposed Kammerer-99 Elk Grove SOI expansion and stands by our initial observation summarizing the project: Elk Grove’s anticipated growth can be accommodated within the existing City limits, and we find no justification for expansion beyond the Sacramento County Urban Services Boundary (USB) established in1993 to be the ultimate growth boundary within the County. The proposal is inconsistent with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS) for meeting State mandated greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, Federal mandates for Air Quality Attainment under the State Improvement Plan (SIP), as well as myriad regional goals for social equity, public health and natural resource conservation. There is an extreme lack of certainty that municipal water can be provided to this area without severe regional impacts, and the impacts to invaluable agricultural and biological resources by the proposal are potentially impossible to mitigate. The RDEIR confirms significant and unavoidable impacts in all these above-mentioned areas, with the exception of less than significant biological impact after mitigation which is a finding we disagree with. The question is, what justification is there for these impacts? We, again, find that there is not, and we strongly recommend that LAFCo decline the proposed Kammerer/99 SOIA.