Adopted by the County Board of Supervisors on June 14, 2022 and effective July 14, 2022, the Green Zones Program seeks to enhance public health and land use compatibility in the unincorporated communities that bear a disproportionate pollution burden.
Green Zones Program Framework
Environmental Justice (EJ) is a broad issue that touches upon various aspects of land use planning. A key concept in EJ is transparency and community engagement in the process. In order to create implementable and effective planning tools, the Green Zones Program employs a data-driven approach and robust stakeholder outreach strategy. It consists of the following components:
Land Use Policy
EJ issues are inherently related to land use incompatibility and regulations. Toxic pollutants emitted near residential neighborhoods or schools pose serious threats on public health as well as the environment. The Green Zones Program includes land use policies and zoning regulations to help improve such conditions in neighborhoods.
The Green Zones Program was developed through a rigorous community engagement process that raises awareness of environmental justice, identifies community needs, and encourages meaningful participation and transparency. Groundtruthing activities in Green Zones Program pilot communities, in partnership with community-based organizations and residents, helped document environmental hazards block-by-block and inform the Program’s land use policies and toxic hotspots map.
Environmental Justice Screening Method
The Green Zones Program’s environmental justice screening method (EJSM) was used to identify stationary sources of pollution and analyze cumulative environmental impacts, based on experts’ recommendations and the information gathered from groundtruthing activities. This tool serves as a public resource and provides a foundation for environmental justice policies.
Prevention and Mitigation
Prevention and mitigation strategies are essential to environmental justice. The Green Zones Program seeks to improve coordination among various regulatory agencies and to support businesses to become better neighbors, helping to mitigate current and prevent future environmental impacts.
PROGRAM INFO SHEETS
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SCREENING METHOD
Groundtruthing involves surveying and documenting potential environmental hazards in a community through collaboration with community members and organizations. As part of the Green Zones Program, LA County Planning conducted a series of groundtruthing events in the Green Zones pilot communities of East Los Angeles and Florence-Firestone/Walnut Park. LA County Planning partnered with two environmental justice community-based organizations in developing and implementing the project: East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) in East Los Angeles, and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) in Florence-Firestone/Walnut Park. This effort was funded through a grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council.