Environmental Justice Additional Criteria Project

Project Contact: Don Chase | PDS.LongRangePlanning@sdcounty.ca.gov | (619) 985-3116

Project Overview

The Environmental Justice Additional Criteria project will consist of the development of additional Environmental Justice Criteria options that will expand the identification of Environmental Justice Communities (EJ Communities) in the unincorporated region of San Diego County.  Additional criteria options will be informed by the analysis of various data sources and stakeholder outreach and engagement. 

The Environmental Justice Element can be found here


Senate Bill 1000

SB1000 requires local governments to address pollution and other hazards that disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color within their jurisdiction as a way to proactively plan for and address environmental concerns when developing and updating components of the General Plan. The Environmental Justice Element is the County of San Diego’s commitment to the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes concerning the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

Board of Supervisors Hearing

On February 10, 2021 (4), the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to continue with the proposed methodology to identify EJ Communities in the unincorporated region. The Board adopted the customized methodology which incorporates data from the following data sources:

  • CalEnviroScreen 3.0: Criteria for environmental conditions in the case of pollution burden indicators, as well as health and vulnerability factors for characteristic population indicators.
  • Live Well Communities: Localized data defining what it means to live well in San Diego by capturing the collective impact of programs, services, and interventions so that all San Diego County residents can be healthy, safe, and thriving.

The customized methodology uses a layering system that identifies census tracts that are shared in the data sets of CalEnviroScreen and Live Well San Diego. The customized identification method includes, but is not limited to, the following indicators:

  • Pollution Exposure: Air Quality Particulate Matter, Diesel Particulate Matter, Drinking Water Contaminants, Pesticide Use, Toxic Releases from Facilities, Traffic Density.
  • Environmental Effects: Cleanup Sites, Groundwater Threats, Hazardous Waste Generators and Facilities, Impaired Waterbodies, and Solid Waste Sites and Facilities.
  • Sensitive Population: Asthma, Cardiovascular Disease, and Low Birth Weight Infants; 
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Educational Attainment, Housing Burden, Linguistic Isolation, Poverty, and Unemployment. 

The customized methodology identified include 17 census tracts that are grouped into 4 EJ Communities.

On July 14, 2021 (1), the Board voted unanimously to adopt the Environmental Justice as part of the County’s General Plan. The Environmental Justice Element includes the 4 identified EJ Communities and reflects the County's efforts in addressing Environmental Justice.

The Board has directed staff to conduct continued stakeholder engagement to ensure that disadvantaged communities and interested stakeholders are included in the decision-making process. Input received from community outreach and engagement will be used to inform additional EJ Criteria options that will be brought back to the Board in the future.

Public Input

The success of the identifying additional criteria options requires community input and engagement. Over the next several months, the County will host a variety of opportunities for stakeholders and community members to learn more and get involved. Please subscribe here to receive updates on upcoming events and dates!

Upcoming Events

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Past Events
A virtual public meeting was held on November 9, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Stay Connected

The County is committed to receiving community and stakeholder comments. As the project progresses, outreach presentations will be posted for the community and stakeholders to review and provide comments on. Please click the link below to update your subscription lists to ensure you receive continued updates on the project.

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