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Environment

California EPA Chief Takes Environmental Justice Tour Of Tulare County

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Kerry Klein
/
Valley Public Radio
Dozens of environmental advocates, Tulare County representatives and environmental regulators from Sacramento pose before kicking off an environmental justice-themed bus tour of disadvantaged communities in the San Joaquin Valley.

This past Wednesday, local environmental groups hosted a bus tour like no other: The theme was environmental justice, and it involved stops in unincorporated Tulare County communities including Matheny Tract, East Orosi, and Ivanhoe, where residents have been struggling to access clean drinking water and reduce exposure to harmful pesticides.

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Credit California EPA
Jared Blumenfeld led the Pacific Southwest region of the U.S. EPA for seven years before being appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom as Secretary of the California EPA.

The tour attracted more than a dozen regulators and bureaucrats from Tulare County and Sacramento, including California EPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld. In this interview, we caught up with Blumenfeld on the bus to talk environmental justice and what he’s learned from the San Joaquin Valley.