Code Section

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 34. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION [71000 - 71424]

  ( Heading of Division 34 amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1112, Sec. 2. )
  

PART 2. ENVIRONMENTAL DATA REPORTING [71050 - 71082]

  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1112, Sec. 4. )
  

CHAPTER 4. Environmental Protection Indicators for California [71080 - 71082]
  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 664, Sec. 1. )

  
71081.  

(a) Beginning on July 1, 2004, to the extent that funds are appropriated by the Legislature for this purpose, the office, on behalf of the office of the secretary, shall develop and maintain a system of environmental indicators. The office shall develop and maintain the system to meet all of the following objectives for using environmental indicators:

(1) Provide policymakers and the public with an improved understanding of the condition of the state’s environment and the effects of the release of contaminants on public health and the environment.

(2) Provide policymakers and the public with information to evaluate the effectiveness of the agency’s programs in improving environmental quality and protecting public health throughout the state, including environmental quality and public health in low-income communities and communities of color.

(3) Assist in the development and modification of agency programs, plans, and policies as environmental conditions change over time.

(4) Assist the agency in making budget decisions that address the most significant environmental concerns.

(b) The following definitions apply to this section:

(1) “Agency” means the California Environmental Protection Agency.

(2) “Environmental indicator” means an objective and scientifically based measure that represents information on environmental conditions, releases of contaminants into the environment, or the effects of those releases.

(3) “Office” means the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

(4) “Secretary” means the Secretary for Environmental Protection.

(c) The secretary shall submit a report on the environmental indicators developed pursuant to this chapter to the Governor and the Legislature on or before January 1, 2006, and by January 1 every two years thereafter. The report shall include a discussion as to the manner in which the environmental indicators are being used by the agency to meet the objectives set forth in subdivision (a). The office shall make the report available to the public on its Internet Web site. The office shall include on its Internet Web site any additional relevant information in support of those environmental indicators and shall update that information posted on the Internet Web site as new information becomes available.

(d) The office shall be the lead agency for developing new environmental indicators, for modifying, deleting, and updating existing environmental indicators, and for developing and maintaining an environmental indicator database. The office shall lead an intra-agency workgroup, consisting of representatives from each of the boards, departments, and offices within the agency. The office shall consult with the intra-agency workgroup in developing and maintaining the environmental indicators, program planning, policy formulation, and other decisionmaking processes, and in drafting the report required under subdivision (c).

(e) In developing and maintaining the environmental indicators, the office shall consult with the Resources Agency, the State Department of Health Services, and other state agencies as appropriate.

(f) The office may utilize information for indicators that is not collected by other boards and departments within the agency and may identify and establish new indicators.

(g) In implementing this section, the office may hold public meetings to receive comments from a broad range of stakeholders, including, but not limited to, local government, the regulated community, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups with an interest in environmental issues.

(h) The office shall consult with the scientific review panel established pursuant to Section 50.8 of the Labor Code for the purpose of establishing, updating, and evaluating environmental indicators.

(i) The secretary shall periodically assess the ability of the environmental indicators system to meet each of the objectives cited in subdivision (a) and the ability of the system to support the development and implementation of the agencywide environmental justice strategy pursuant to Section 71113.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 538, Sec. 606. Effective January 1, 2007.)