The purpose of SCAQMD's Environmental Justice program is to ensure that everyone has the right to equal protection from air pollution and fair access to the decision-making process that works to improve the quality of air within their communities.
Environmental Justice, or "EJ" has been defined by SCAQMD as:
"...equitable environmental policymaking and enforcement to protect the health of all residents, regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or geographic location, from the health effects of air pollution."
The history of SCAQMD's EJ program began in 1997. The programs and initiatives have been continually reviewed to keep the EJ movement growing. One important component of that review process is the Environmental Justice Advisory Group (EJAG), which serves as an advisory group to the SCAQMD Governing Board. The mission of EJAG is to advise and assist SCAQMD in protecting and improving public health in SCAQMD's most impacted communities through the reduction and prevention of air pollution.
SCAQMD has instituted a number of community initiatives to help improve air quality for residents of our basin. However, the commitment to EJ does not rest with SCAQMD alone. It also requires that individuals and businesses get involved by working together with SCAQMD to help improve the quality of air in their communities. One of the important actions people can take is to notify SCAQMD at 1-800-CUT-SMOG when there is an air quality complaint such as excessive dust or foul odors from a neighboring business, or a smoking vehicle.
Attending SCAQMD-sponsored meetings, workshops and other events is another excellent way to keep abreast of current air quality issues, and to learn how to help protect your family and community from the health effects of air pollution. To see other examples of how you can get involved helping to resolve air quality issues, check the resources and links for other state and federal agencies with EJ programs.