CalEPA, U.S. EPA Release Plan for Joint Enforcement Work to Protect California Communities Overburdened by Pollution

Plan Builds on Groundbreaking Federal-State Partnership Launched through 2021 Environmental Justice-Focused Agreement

April 24, 2024

Media Contacts:
EPA: John Senn,, 415-972-3999
CalEPA: Kalin Kipling-Mojaddedi,, 916-291-8990

LOS ANGELES (April 24, 2024) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) today released a two-year action plan to collaboratively address environmental justice issues across California by enforcing laws that protect public health and the environment.

In 2021, EPA and CalEPA signed a five-year, first-of-its-kind agreement to expand joint federal-state activities for reducing pollution burdens, increasing environmental compliance and improving public health outcomes in overburdened California communities. In late 2022, the agencies released a 2023 Action Plan, and today they are releasing a 2024/25 action plan under the initial agreement, which builds on feedback from community partners and helps guide the agencies’ shared civil and criminal enforcement approaches through 2025.

Focal areas under the 2024/2025 Environmental Justice Enforcement Action Plan include:

  • A renewed commitment to enhanced, sustained engagement with the five community forums in Los Angeles, Fresno County, Kern County, the Eastern Coachella Valley and the Bayview-Hunters Point community in San Francisco, which were piloted under the 2023 Action Plan.
  • Continued use of rapid response task forces.
  • Increased transparency and access to environmental compliance information for the public.
  • Strengthened connections, including enhanced opportunities for information sharing across communities and improved communication among program areas within agencies.

Through partnerships in each of these areas, EPA and CalEPA start with a community-first approach for strategic targeting and enforcement. The agencies convene monthly meetings to understand community concerns, follow up on all complaints, work across environmental areas (e.g., air, soil, water) and levels of government to seek solutions, and regularly communicate with the forum’s participants regarding their progress and any challenges. EPA and CalEPA may use civil and criminal enforcement tools at their disposal to determine the most appropriate actions to hold facilities accountable or, when needed, refer them to the most appropriate authority.

Local successes and commitments from this partnership include:

  • Response to fire at Radius Recycling in Oakland – In August 2023, a fire was reported at Radius Recycling (formerly known as Schnitzer Steel) in Oakland. After the fire was extinguished, the community had questions about persisting environmental threats from the incident. In response, EPA and CalEPA set up a rapid response task force to coordinate and expedite investigations, negotiate corrective actions, and demand accountability for environmental non-compliance. It also compiled and consolidated information and distributed it to regulators and to the public. The task force now serves as the prototype for the agencies’ new rapid response task force tool.
  • Illegal Dumping in Fresno County – Communities in Fresno, like many across the state, are burdened by illegal dumping. After learning from community members about a large and longstanding illegal dumpsite in Lanare, an unincorporated community in Fresno County, EPA and CalEPA engaged the relevant state and local agencies to remove and clean up the illegal dumpsite. These efforts wrapped up in February of 2023. Under the federal-state partnership, as part of ongoing action to enhance and sustain engagement with community forums, the agencies continue to partner with the Fresno IVAN (Investigating Violations Affecting Neighborhoods) to address illegal dumping elsewhere in the county.
  • Del Amo Action Committee Participation in Emergency Response Drill – The Del Amo Action Committee, a key community partner in Los Angeles, has long expressed concerns about JCI Jones, a chemical facility located immediately adjacent to residential neighborhoods in Torrance, California. Residents wanted to have a voice in emergency response planning, in the event of a chemical release. Acting on these requests, EPA and CalEPA worked with JCI Jones and local emergency responders to conduct an emergency response drill with community participation. As a result, the community is working on an emergency response plan for their community that they expect to release by early 2025.
  • Alameda Corridor in Los Angeles – As part of EPA’s national priority enforcement initiatives, the Agency has committed to identifying and taking action in focus areas with environmental justice concerns across the country. One of those areas is the Mid-Alameda Corridor in Los Angeles, a 35-square-mile area with nearly half a million residents. EPA will engage with environmental and community groups in the area to receive input on challenges and investigate specific facilities or areas of concern. EPA will partner with relevant California state and local partners as part of this effort.

Learn more on CalEPA and U.S. EPA’s webpages.


As Director of All Things Bayview, my core focus is to inform, educate and mobilize the intergenerational, multilingual community residents of Bayview Hunters Point community and our D10 neighbors. I am pleased to observe and report the ongoing efforts of the state and federal government represented by CalEPA/U.S. EPA. CalEPA/U.S. EPA’s consistent civic engagement with community residents has been inspiring for the engaged residents and empowering for residential community leaders like me. As a community leader and impacted resident, I am thankful for CalEPA/U.S. EPA coming into the community and personally giving us hope as we continue to fight for environmental justice.

Kamillah Ealom

All Things Bayview Director and Bayview Hunter’s Point IVAN Co-Director

Illegal dumping is a major problem in the Central Valley, especially in unincorporated communities. In Fresno, the small community of Lanare has been fighting for years an illegal dumpsite that had caused significant damage to some residents, including trips to the hospital with asthma attacks after the squatters responsible for causing this dump burned down the trash multiple times. Local authorities hadn’t responded to residents’ complaints until the CalEPA/U.S. EPA Environmental Justice Enforcement program intervened. Meetings that involved multiple agencies at the local, state and federal levels resulted in a solution. In February 2024 the cleanup of the dump was completed under the leadership of CalRecycle with state funding.

Nayamin Martinez, MPH

Executive Director of the Central California Environmental Justice Network

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