Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • CalRecycle Staff Attends LA Environmental Justice Symposium

    The Environmental Health and Enforcement Symposium, hosted in part by the Los Angeles Environmental Justice Network, took place on April 10and 11 in downtown Los Angeles. Communication—both among CalEPA’s boards, departments, and offices and between regulators and community members—was a key theme of the symposium. CalRecycle representatives attended to hear directly from community members and to network with other regulatory agencies.

    Environmental justice advocates and employees from different state and local agencies attended and gave presentations. Community members shared concerns about pollution in their communities and asked about enforcement of environmental laws. Government officials discussed how to work with state agencies to better protect communities near regulated facilities.


    Workshops and sessions were held to familiarize attendees with tools such as CalEnviroScreen, the state’s tool to identify communities overburdened by pollution; the Spatial Prioritization Geographic Information Tool (SPGIT), which helps identify sources and threats to our groundwater; and Geo Tracker GAMA, the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Program that displays water quality data from various sources.

    A panel titled “Creating Effective Community Partnerships” brought together governmental officials and community advocates to offer tips and best practices for partnerships and to discuss roadblocks to effective communication.

    In addition, the recent Paramount Enforcement Initiative was discussed as a case study in which different regulating agencies came together to effectively address a direct health concern in the city of Paramount.

    Here are some helpful tools and resources highlighted during the symposium:

    CalRecycle continues to strive for better communication with communities and to ensure that environmental justice principles are reflected in all our  data-sf-ec-immutable="">.

    To learn more about CalRecycle’s environmental justice program please visit:


    Posted on In the Loop by Claudia Espinoza-Castro and Angela Vincent on Jun 5, 2017

  • CalEPA Symposium Advocates for Environmental Justice

    Earlier this year, the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) hosted a symposium to promote environmental justice–the fair treatment of all races, cultures, and incomes regarding the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.  

    Sponsored in collaboration with CalRecycle and the California Air Resources Board, the EJ Symposium convened in El Monte, California.  


    Arsenio Mataka (far right), CalEPA’s Assistant Secretary for EJ and Tribal Affairs, spoke about the importance of equity and being “open-minded about experiences and takeaways that CalEPA boards, departments, and offices can use in their work.” 


    Dr. Manuel Pastor, a professor with the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, discussed “Environmental Justice and Race.” He captivated the audience by explaining, “Low-income people of color in the United States will suffer more from the economic and health consequences of climate change than other Americans.” He emphasized a consistent pattern of racial disparity in terms of exposure to air pollution, climate risks, and so on in the state.

    Pastor believes we can improve this situation by, “identifying ways to address environmental harm and racial disparity, prioritizing greenhouse gas reduction, and creating employment training.”  


    Diane Takvorian is the executive director and co-founder of the Environmental Health Coalition in San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico.  She advocates for “empowering people, organizing communities, and achieving justice” through grassroots and community participation.  She shared her dedication to environmental and social justice by empowering communities to act together for social change.


    Angelo Logan talked about his personal experience. He grew up in the City of Commerce, an industrial city. As a child, he “played with barrels in an industrial yard.”  A yard worker warned him to leave because the substances in the barrels could harm him and his friends. Growing up in Commerce, he began to understand the issues of his community, and it led him to become an activist for change. He eventually co-founded East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice to advocate for health and safety in his community.


    Several staff members from CalRecycle and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) volunteered during the symposium. Volunteers included (from left) Jorge Lopez (Recycling Specialist), Stephanie Lewis (Environmental Scientist, DTSC), Eric Alatorre (Staff Services Management Auditor), Davie Chang (Associate Management Auditor), María Salinas (Environmental Justice Program Manager), Cheng Wang (Staff Services Management Auditor), Max Lin (Staff Services Management Auditor), and Jonas Bautista (Associate Management Auditor).


    (From left) Jesus Flores (Executive Fellow at CalEPA), Angela Vincent (Recycling Specialist at CalRecycle), and Claudia Espinoza-Castro (Executive Fellow at CalRecycle) coordinated the event. Michelle Shultz-Wood (Staff Air Pollution Specialist and EJ Liaison, ARB), not pictured, also provided leadership and guidance for the event.

    According to its policies and resources, and in alignment with state legislation, CalEPA continues to promote cross-departmental collaborative such as this EJ Symposium and EJ Initiatives.

    Some notable pieces of environmental justice legislation include SB 1000 (Leyva, Chapter 587, Statues of 2016), which requires that cities and counties consider EJ when developing their general plans; AB 2722 (Arambula and Burke and Rodriguez, Chapter 371, Statues of 2016) and AB 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statues of 2016), which increase investments in EJ communities to fund large-scale climate projects; SB 1015 (Leyva, Chapter 315, Statues of 2016) and AB 1066 (Gonzalez, Chapter 313, Statues of 2016), which support low-wage workers and farm workers by providing overtime protections; and AB 1787 (Gomez, Chapter 507, Statues of 2016), which requires access to translators during public comment periods at public meetings.

    Posted on In the Loop by Claudia Espinoza-Castro on Apr 27, 2017

  • All About Earth Day

    U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin organized the first Earth Day in on April 22, 1970, and it served as a catalyst to bring a simmering environmental movement to the forefront of American consciousness. Just eight years earlier, Rachel Carson published a groundbreaking book titled Silent Spring that critically examined the impact of industrialization on our planet and connected our actions with the health of our environment. Carson observed that the heavy use of pesticides was killing off birds, making the forests silent. Some credit her book with jump-starting the environmental movement.

    In December 1970, real change came when Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. By the U.S. EPA’s 10th anniversary, Congress had authorized significant legislation that laid the foundation for environmental regulation in the United States. As a leader in environmental policy, California followed suit and established complementary laws to care for our state.


    Be sure to see our Earth Day Planning Guide, which includes events this weekend, later this month, and even in May, to commemorate the progress we have made and to continue to protect our natural resources. 

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 20, 2017