Los Angeles County Launches Environmental Justice Department

The new department will develop plans for addressing the impacts of air and water pollution, extreme heat, and climate change on vulnerable communities.

Read Time: 1 minute

November 17, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial top-down view of multicolored big rig trucks in lines at the Port of Los Angeles

Trucks hauling cargo from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach create high levels of greenhouse gas emissions throughout communities along the 710 corridor. | Flystock / Trucks at the Port of Los Angeles

A new Los Angeles County office created by the Board of Supervisors will focus on environmental justice, reports Steve Scauzillo in the Los Angeles Daily News. “The new department will develop a strategy for addressing environmental pollution, which disproportionately affects low-income communities and people of color, the supervisors said.”

Supervisors want to see the new office assess a variety of environmental hazards, such as communities harmed by pollution from traffic, including neighborhoods along the busy corridors that shuttle goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to distribution centers in the Inland Empire and beyond; communities affected by battery plants and other industrial polluters; and neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by extreme heat that would benefit from cooling strategies to keep homes and public spaces safe for residents.

According to Supervisor Janice Hahn, as quoted in the article, “The agency would collect data and hold industries accountable for environmental degradation or potential public health hot spots.” Supervisor Hahn added that finding methods to keep homes and neighborhoods cool is more important than providing cooling centers, which frequently go unused, saying, “We should be meeting people where they are to stay cool in their homes.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 in Los Angeles Daily News

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of Bend, Oregon with river and old mill district

Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums

The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.

January 20, 2023 - KTVZ

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

28 minutes ago - Route Fifty

Broad street in downtown Columbus, Ohio with two pedestrians in crosswalk

Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

1 hour ago - The Columbus Dispatch

Stoplight with green light and "no right turn on red" pictograph on overhead signal

Traffic Safety Bills Proposed in Washington’s State Legislature

As traffic fatalities continue to climb in Washington and around the country, three proposed state bills would prohibit some right turns on red, reduce the BAC limit for DUI arrests, and require more young drivers to take driver’s education courses.

2 hours ago - KATU.com