How One California University is Proposing Environmental Legislation
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How One California University is Proposing Environmental Legislation

The California State Legislature began its current two-year session in 2021. The legislators will continue to introduce numerous new bills, including many dealing with environmental issues like climate change, wildfires, and water safety.

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How One California University is Proposing Environmental Legislation

The California Senate and Assembly have joined hands to work on versions of a 2022 Natural Resources Bond. This bond presents a significant opportunity for funding the state’s environmental initiatives. The budget proposed by Governor Newsom also includes funding related to climate change, environmental justice, and wildfires, which suggests that legislators might witness success passing bills in these areas with the governor’s support.

Many more proposals demand budget allocation for causes like cleaning up toxic sites, reforming the Department of Toxic Substances, improving forest health, fire prevention projects, and emission reduction strategies. While there are many proposals for utilizing these funds, environmental monitoring is prevalent. Dickson Data claims that environmental monitoring is effective across all sectors requiring regulation. Concerning legislation related to the environment, the process of environmental monitoring is critical.

What is environmental monitoring?

Environmental monitoring is a set of techniques and tools calibrated to observe an environment. The gathered observations are instrumental in characterizing the quality of the environment and establishing its parameters. Government agencies, employers, and scientists use the collected data to accurately calculate the activities, components, or facts that impact the ecology of a particular area.

The core idea of environmental monitoring is to minimize and manage the impact of human activities, industries, and other factors on the environment. This monitoring and compiling of data help to ensure compliance with laws, adherence to sound practices, and mitigation of risks of the harmful effects on an area and the animal and plant life living there.

Researchers analyze the data collected through monitoring tools and use that information in studies, research, and formulating conclusions. From these, researchers create and publish a risk assessment report. Many environmental activists support legislation that uses their assessments to better the environment.

What is environmental legislation, and why is it needed?

Environmental legislation or environmental law seeks to mitigate the effects of human activity on the environment. Human activity in natural areas directly affects the ecosystem. While there is some reluctance to limit the activities of humans, these laws act as a safety net in preventing catastrophic damage by providing guidelines for effective management.

Environmental legislation is crucial for protecting humans, plants, animals, and multiple ecosystems. These laws ensure that different organizations, governments, and other units of society and the globe cooperate to reduce and prevent environmental harm.

Legislations revolving around the environment are essential for regulating and interpreting various laws and standards initiated by national and international organizations. These laws focus on preventing transgressions that threaten the environment and its inhabitants.

How are UCLA students using it to protect outdoor laborers?

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, from California’s 56th Assembly District, introduced legislation aimed at protecting outdoor workers. Who work under scorching conditions in the arid Southern California region. Global warming means that the average temperature there is higher than it was in the past, exposing these laborers to extreme conditions, including the smoke from wildfires, which are becoming increasingly prevalent. These factors combine to form a work environment that is unhealthy and toxic for the laborers. With the recent legislation, California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety will develop a new ultrahigh heat standard and work on strengthening their air quality standards.

The UCLA School of Law students from the California Environmental Legislation and Policy Clinic supported the bill for protecting outdoor laborers. They were able to contribute to the legislation because of their research based on experiential learning, which gave them hands-on training in environmental lawmaking. These law students support the bill’s campaign through stakeholder engagement and awareness strategy that highlights the ecological harm to outdoor laborers.

The future standards proposed in the bill will include mandatory work breaks for the outdoor workers and increased monitoring for heat sickness and strokes. Moreover, they will have access to cold water and shade units. Additional measures in the bill require employers to distribute respiratory protective equipment for workers, aiming at reducing their exposure to harmful particulate matter, wildfires, and other sources of pollution.

Students have rigorously researched to present their case on behalf of the outdoor workers. They have studied the existing state and federal laws and conducted hundreds of interviews with community groups representing agricultural workers in Coachella Valley.

The supervising attorney and project director at UCLA’’s Emmet Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Julia Stein, said that the bill would help protect workers from oppressive conditions and set extreme heat standards, which currently do not exist in California, despite the state’s massive agricultural sector. The bill will also trigger better air quality than the current threshold point, where the air is nearly unbreathable.

How does Environmental Legislation help fight against climate change?

Climate change has been a significant priority for environmental legislation. Lawmakers have proposed several bills to tackle the problem from various angles. Some of the bills included measures to build decarbonization, carbon sequestration from natural and working land, and increased electric vehicle utilization. In California, the Strategic Growth Council’s Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program proposed provisions to establish criteria for creating regional climate plans and managing departments.

Other proposed legislation targets specific items like setting emission reduction targets for corporations, mitigating sea level rise, and ocean pollution. Wildfire prevention is also among the top causes for environmental legislation, and lawmakers have introduced many bills this session for new developments in zones with high fire probability.

Environmental legislation has been influential and instrumental in promoting environmental justice and addressing issues that need immediate attention. Extreme heat, wildfires, reducing ocean purity, the threat to aquatic life, pollution on land, water, and air, and their repercussions on other developmental and health situations of living organisms are all considered by environmental legislation. With more students from UCLA and other universities dedicating their skills and concerns to environmental matters, there is hope for a better future with a safe and healthy outdoor environment for those living and working there.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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