BAEHC seeks pollution reduction through better land use planning
For years, EJ advocates have struggled against the siting and expansion of polluters in their neighborhoods. Residents have lived with impacts of exposure to multiple pollution sources, which will only grow with the need for greater transit-friendly housing and jobs. Yet when advocates have fought against BAAQMD to prevent further pollution in their communities, the response has often been that this is a local land use matter. BAEHC has urged BAAQMD to collaborate with local jurisdictions to ensure that risks in overburdened communities are reduced rather than exacerbated. In response, BAAQMD recently proposed that local jurisdictions develop and implement area-wide Community Risk Reduction Plans (CRRPs) to guide land use planning and decision-making. BAEHC has proposed a full set of recommendations for the development, implementation and enforcement of CRRPs, including the need for ambitious reduction goals in the most impacted areas, specific indicators of progress, real public involvement and oversight, and effective monitoring and enforcement, with strong oversight by BAAQMD. While CRRPs may present an important strategy to identifying and reducing risks in Bay Area communities, BAEHC believes that stronger enforceable action is necessary to protect health and reduce inequities in overburdened areas.