Under a new bill in the state senate, fines paid by industry groups who violate environmental regulations would go to the communities most impacted by pollution.
Currently, when industry groups pay fines to the state for violating air quality standards, the money goes into the state’s general fund.
The new bill would create “Environmental Protection Communities” that would receive additional funding based on their disproportionate exposure to air pollution.
Democratic State Senator Stephanie Chang introduced the legislation.
“We want to make sure when these companies who are violating the air quality standards that the money that they pay should come back to the communities that they are directly impacting.”
Chang said communities most impacted by industry pollution are disproportionately people of color.
Under the bill the funds could be spent on increased air quality monitoring, health impact assessments, and even for planting trees.