San Diego becomes first city in California to incorporate statewide tool identifying communities overburdened by multiple sources of pollution

SAN DIEGO, December 15, 2015 – Today, San Diego City Council approved a precedent-setting climate action plan, making San Diego the first city in California to incorporate the statewide tool, CalEnviroScreen, in its plan to mitigate local impacts of climate change. CalEnviroScreen, the first comprehensive screening system identifying California communities most impacted by pollution, will be used in San Diego to direct investment and benefits to those San Diego neighborhoods that need it the most.

Environmental Health Coalition (EHC), an organization fighting toxic pollution in the city’s urban core, commends City Council and the mayor for responding to the outpouring of support for prioritizing action in communities with the highest levels of air pollution, lack of transportation options and energy-inefficient homes.

“The impacts of a changing climate are most detrimental in neighborhoods such as Barrio Logan, City Heights, Sherman Heights, Logan Heights, San Ysidro and Southeastern that suffer from damaging air quality, burdensome energy bills and inaccessible public transit,” says EHC Associate Director Georgette Gomez. “We applaud Council for today’s decision to be the first city in California to adopt a climate action plan with CalEnviroScreen at its core and a commitment to implement the plan in communities where its impact is highest.”

Nearly 1,000 San Diegans and fifteen organizations joined EHC and signed a petition asking City Council to build San Diego’s resilience as a whole by incorporating equity into the draft plan. On November 30, the San Diego City Council environment committee moved forward the plan with recommendations to city staff to incorporate CalEnviroScreen and make social equity revisions before December 15.

“My neighborhood has desperately needed policies and action to address the harmful impacts of climate change in our backyards,” says Maria Martinez, resident of Barrio Logan. “Today, we celebrate a plan that ensures a healthy San Diego for all communities is on the horizon. We thank City Council members for doing the right thing.”

EHC hopes today’s decision will inspire other cities in California to adopt climate action plans that utilize CalEnviroScreen and to advocate for strong action on climate that prioritizes communities impacted with high levels of pollution in the face of climate change.

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION: Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use and unsustainable energy policies. Visit us online at