Environmental Justice Element

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Creating an Equitable Sacramento County​​​

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​In September 2016, the State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1000 (SB 1000) which requires cities and counties with disadvantaged communities to incorporate environmental justice (EJ) policies into their general plans. This must happen upon the adoption or next revision of two or more elements concurrently on or after January 1, 2018. In response to this legislation, the Office of Planning and Environmental Review is preparing to amend the County’s General Plan to include a new stand-alone Environmental Justice Element.

Sacramento County's new Environmental Justice Element will cover the following topical areas:

  • Pollution Exposure and Air Quality
  • Access to Public Facilities
  • Food Access
  • Safe and Sanitary Homes
  • Promotion of Physical Activity
  • Promotion of Civic Engagement
  • Crime Prevention​​​


Sacramento County's Environmental Justice Element will be adopted and refined over two phases.  Phase 1 included preliminary outreach, baseline research, and a scoping of existing policies with the General Plan for inclusion in the EJ Element.  The Phase 1 Element was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on May 8, 2018. Phase 2 will refine the efforts of Phase 1 through in depth public outreach, development of new policies and revision or removal of outdated General Plan policies. Phase 2 will be completed within 12 months after the adoption of the Phase 1 EJ Element.  The geographic focus of the policies and implementations of the EJ Element are Environmental Justice Communities (EJ Communities).  

Environmental Justice Communities Map

Phase 2 Public Outreach

An extensive public engagement effort was undertaken during 2018 consisting of “pop-up" booths at community events, a web survey, community workshops and community meetings. The purpose of this effort was to confirm baseline research (ground-truthing), determine community residents' priorities, identify community issues and allow residents to propose policy ideas that address those issues.

Pop-Up Booths Surveys

Staff set up a “pop-up" booth at seven community events in EJ Communities during the summer and fall of 2018, where booth visitors took a survey to receive a small prize. Staff tabulated the responses and prepared response summaries (See below for responses organized by topic). There were over 100 responses from individuals who lived within or near EJ Communities.

Web Survey

Staff, with assistance from the EJ Element Advisory Committee, developed a web survey that asked survey participants to answer questions by choosing three items from a list.  Each question was related to an environmental justice topic and selected items enabled staff to determine respondent’s priorities.  The web survey was open to the public during October and November 2018. Almost 500 individuals from zip codes that included EJ Communities took the survey. Summaries of the responses by community and a summary of the most common responses are below.

Community Workshops

To provide more opportunities for public input, staff and Advisory Committee members conducted community workshops in West Arden-Arcade (October 16, 2018), South Sacramento (October 25, 2018), and North Highlands/Foothill Farms (January 22, 2019). Workshop participants identified community issues and ways to address those issues. See below for tabulation of comments received at the workshops.

Public Hearings

Board of Supervisors Hearing​ - May 8, 2018

The Phase 1 Environmental Justice (EJ) Element was heard by the Board of Supervisors on May 8, 2018. The Board voted 5-0 to adopt the EJ Element. Planning and Environmental Review staff has started work on the Phase 2 Element.


For general inquiries regarding the EJ Element, please contact Tim Kohaya at (916) 874-5982 or kohayat@saccounty.net.

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the EJ effort in California, see the websites listed below.