SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Feb. 22 the establishment of the Bureau of Environmental Justice (Bureau) within the environment section at the California Department of Justice.
According to Becerra, the bureau will protect people and communities that are forced to bear the largest burden of environmental pollution. Working with attorneys in the environment section, the bureau’s attorneys will provide oversight, investigation and enforcement of California environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act and land use planning laws.
“The harsh reality is that some communities in California – particularly low-income communities and communities of color – continue to bear the brunt of pollution from industrial development, poor land use decisions, transportation, and trade corridors," Becerra said in a statement. “Meeting the needs of these communities requires our focused attention. That’s why I’m establishing the Bureau of Environmental Justice. To all who advocate for environmental justice, the California Department of Justice will work with you and fight for a clean, safe and healthy environment. We have a moral and legal responsibility to do so.”