EPIC—together with our friends, the Northcoast Environmental Center, Humboldt Baykeeper, Friends of Del Norte, and Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment—support Senate Bills 49 and 50. Both bills will help to keep California green and gold by increasing state environmental law protections if federal protections are rolled back and fights back against the giveaway of public land.
SB 49, the California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017, would change state environmental law to incorporate federal environmental law standards protecting clean air, climate, clean water, worker safety, and endangered species, ensuring that the environmental protections we rely upon are still enforceable, even if the federal government rolls back and weakens those standards.
SB 50, Public Lands Protection Act, would make it California state policy to oppose any federal land transfer, and directs the State Lands Commission to have the right of first refusal over any federal lands.
Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures. In January, EPIC called for the state legislature to keep California great by strengthening California’s environmental laws to work as a backstop in case of federal rollback. The legislature listened. EPIC thanks Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León and Senator Henry Stern for introducing SB 49, and Senator Ben Allen for introducing SB 50. EPIC further thanks our local Senator, Mike McGuire, for his support of the legislation. This legislation ensures that California will continue to lead the nation in protecting the health and integrity of our wild and human communities.