Civil Rights and Language Access Policies: Background and Timeline

 

The Kettleman Title VI Civil Rights Settlement was developed out of a Title VI complaint filed by Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice (Greenaction) and El Pueblo/People for Clean Air and Water of Kettleman City (El Pueblo) against the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).  The civil rights complaint was filed over DTSC’s 2014 permit expansion approval for the Kettleman Hills Hazardous waste landfill.  El Pueblo and Greenaction objected to DTSC’s permit decision on numerous grounds, including that it violated their civil rights.

Through the facilitated complaint mediation process, which lasted from January 2016 to August 2016 the DTSC, CalEPA, El Pueblo and Greenaction reached a settlement agreement that included numerous provisions, including the development of the Title VI Civil Rights and California Civil Rights Policy and the Language Access Policies. The agreement was the first example of a voluntary resolution jointly developed by state agencies and community groups under Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act.

Key milestones for the development of the Policies include:

DTSC is currently reviewing and considering the comments received on the draft Implementation Plan with plans to finalize in 2018.