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The County is developing its first Environmental Justice (EJ) Element. The EJ Element will be part of the County’s General Plan. The element will reflect the County's efforts in addressing Environmental Justice which is defined by the State of California as ”the fair treatment and 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.”

Why is the County developing an Environmental Justice Element?

California State law requires each city and county to prepare and adopt a comprehensive and long‐range general plan for its physical development. The General Plan provides a consistent framework for land use and development decisions consistent with an established community vision. Prior to recent laws, there were seven legally required general plan topics. With newly adopted State law, the Environmental Justice Element is now required.

What will the County's Environmental Justice Element include?

State law mandates EJ Elements must contain goals and policies that identify:

  1. Disadvantaged communities, also known as Environmental Justice Communities, within the County’s General Plan planning area.
  2. Objectives and policies to:
    1. Reduce unique or compounded health risks in Environmental Justice Communities through assessing conditions in EJ Topic Areas that include but are not limited to:
      1. Reducing pollution exposure and improving air quality 
      2. Promoting public facilities, defined as public improvements, public services, and community amenities
      3. Promoting food access
      4. Promoting safe and sanitary homes
      5. Promoting physical activity
    2. Promote civil engagement in public decision making.
    3. Prioritize improvements and programs to address the needs of Environmental Justice Communities.  

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) maintains an EJ Program and an EJ Task Force that coordinates compliance and enforcement work of CalEPA’s boards, departments and offices in areas of the state that are burdened by multiple sources of pollution and are disproportionately vulnerable to its effects. CalEPA has the responsibility for identifying disadvantaged communities in California. CalEPA’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) developed the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen) which statewide data that can be used to identify communities disproportionately impacted by, or vulnerable to, environmental pollution and contaminants. 

Utilizing CalEnvironScreen and local data collected through Live Well San Diego the County has conducted a preliminary assessment of the County’s EJCs.

Public Input

The success of the first EJ Element requires extensive community input and engagement. Below are the recordings of the four community workshops held in 2020 and 2021.

Community Workshops #1 & #2: 
        Wednesday, November 18th, 2020, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 
        Saturday, November 21st, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 


Community Workshop #3: 
        Tuesday, January 19, 2021, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Community Workshop #4: 

        Wednesday, March 24, 2021, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Documents Available for Public Review

The  draft Environmental Justice Element  that was provided to the Planning Commission for the June 11, 2021, hearing can be found here: 

The Public Review for the administrative draft of the Environmental Justice Element, draft Environmental Justice Element Implementation Plan, and corresponding CEQA Documents ended on April 12, 2021. The Documents that were made available from March 11, 2021 to April 12, 2021 were:

Draft documents have been amended to address comments received. The updated documents have been provided to the Board of Supervisors and a public hearing has been scheduled (see Public Hearing Section Below). 

Public Hearing

In-Person Participation - You will be allowed to attend and make comments at the Board of Supervisors meetings in person. Additional overflow rooms will be available for the public to watch the meeting and wait to speak. If you attend the Board meeting in person, you will be required to wear a face covering/mask at all times if you are not fully vaccinated. If you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to wear a face covering/mask. 

Public Testimony via Teleconference - Members of the public may participate in the meeting via a teleconference. If you wish to participate through teleconference, please visit the Board of Supervisors Website

Instructions on how to view and participate in the meeting via teleconference are available at the link above, at the bottom of the page under the header “Here’s How You Can Be Engaged!” 

Large groups wishing to comment on a common item are encouraged to submit comments in writing or to identify one spokesperson to join the teleconference on behalf of the group. If you have any questions, please contact the Board Operations Unit at (619) 531-5434. 

The Board of Supervisors agenda for July 14, 2021, is located on the Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda Website. 

eComments - If you would like to send comments to the Board of Supervisors, please see the instructions provided in the “Submit an eComment” link here. eComments can be submitted when the agenda is released (typically on Wednesday of the week before the meeting). Comments will be accepted until the start of the meeting. 

Stay Connected

The County is committed to receiving community and stakeholder comments.  As the project progresses, the presentation will be posted for the community and stakeholders to review and provide comments on. When presentations are posted e-Blast will be sent. Please click the link below to update your subscription lists and to ensure you have enrolled to receive updates for this project.

For more information or to request for informational materials please contact:

Audrey Hamilton
Phone: (858) 505-6677