EJ Taskforce

The Coachella Valley Environmental Justice Enforcement Taskforce aims to protect the environment and most importantly the well-being of residents in the Eastern Coachella Valley. This effort is modeled after the first community-based environmental reporting site in all of California, located in Imperial County: the Imperial Visions Action Network’s web site http://IVANOnline.org, and it’s not only for the groups and agencies to tell about environmental problems and environmental damage in the area, but it is also community-powered, being in fact the community the one that actually submit reports for the agencies to review.

We want to protect our environment not only for our own welfare but for future generations and ensure that it is a healthy place for everyone to live.

The task force brings attention to environmental issues in the Eastern Coachella Valley and works to resolve them. These issues include water pollution, dumping and/or burying of toxic materials, air quality, contaminated land, unsecured sites where chemicals are stored, illegal transport of hazardous materials, etc.

We welcome residents of all ages, government agencies, community groups and businesses and encourage you to join this supportive task force. Imperial Valley taskforce has a regular attendance of Imperial Valley College students, for example.

Help be the taskforce’s eyes and ears, even noses, and tell about what’s happening to our valley’s land, water and air. We will teach you about environmental laws and regulations and even about environmental enforcement. The taskforce is full of agencies that can help you or answer your questions, or they can direct you to the right agency or person.

The taskforce has a consistent date for meetings, being the third Wednesday of each month, and normally it has Spanish translation so any resident can go and get informed, submit questions or reports at the meeting – environmental complaints and incident reports are accepted at the meetings. We also review reports that are posted on the IVAN website and discuss government’s progress in addressing verified environmental hazards and damage.

This model helps the agencies to see problems not normally in their traditional area of action, and also enables them to prioritize resources to known and specific problems in the affected communities: in a sense, every resident is an environmental inspector.

Be part of the solution. Be part of a model that has proven that it can bring results. We, as the second implementation of the model, followed by Kern, Fresno, Wilmington, and others, can use this model as a tool to make our valley a better place to live.

IVAN Coachella Panoramic (TF)

The Taskforce in late 2013, with the IVAN model founder, Luis Olmedo, at the right side of the image