About IVAN

IVAN (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods) is an environmental monitoring system that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems. Scroll down to learn more about IVAN and find out how you can get involved.

IVAN Philosophy

This community-based environmental monitoring system is built on the idea that residents are the most knowledgeable about their environment and therefore should have a place at the table with regulatory agencies. Since 2010, the IVAN model has expanded to eight other locations in California, and most recently to Tulare County. In all these communities, the IVAN networks strive to empower disadvantaged communities to participate in solving environmental concerns.

History of IVAN

In November 2007 in the southeastern corner of California, in Imperial County , a small group of residents and a handful of Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) employees led by Comite Civico del Valle (CCV) piled into a school bus to take a tour of the Imperial County region, where California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) has designated residents at high risk for environmental toxicity. The purpose of this trip was to visit multiple environmental hazard sites located throughout the region, as identified by concerned community members. After the tour, participants attended a workshop to collaborate and develop solutions to address environmental hazards affecting their lives.

Between 2007-2010, a total of eight government-sponsored Toxic Bus Tours and workshops took place in a predominantly Hispanic community with a low employment rate. A direct outcome of these collaborations was the conception of the Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods (IVAN) model. The development and implementation of the IVAN model marked a turning point in environmental justice regulation history. The IVAN model is reshaping how vulnerable communities protect, and in the process, reclaim their environment that has been systematically disregarded as a sacrifice zone.

IVAN REPORTING NETWORK IN THE SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

In 2012 CCEJN became the administrator of the IVAN Reporting Networks in Fresno and Kern counties. The two reporting networks have successfully empowered residents to report environmental violations and most importantly, the networks have formed and consolidated taskforces that bring together regulatory agencies, community groups, and residents to investigate and solve reports and to work on advancing health protective regulations. Furthermore, CCEJN has created local and statewide relationships to support the IVAN Fresno and Kern networks.

In conversations with partner organizations in Tulare, CCEJN learned that local groups were interested in participating in a project like this. Their interest stems from the recognition that the IVAN program in Kern and Fresno counties have helped communities identify, monitor, and provide information to government regulators that have been able to follow-up to those community leads with enforcement and/or compliance actions.

Thanks to a grant from CalEPA, CCEJN was able to expand the IVAN Reporting Network to Tulare County in July of 2019.

The Environmental Justice Taskforce

The Tulare Environmental Justice Taskforce is a committee of dedicated people made up of representatives of community-based organizations and environmental enforcement agencies (i.e. Department of Pesticide Regulation; local Ag Commissioner; California Air Resources Board; US-EPA; Department of Toxic Substances Controls; Regional Water Resource Control Board; the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, among others) and residents that are led by the local coordinator, the Central California Environmental Justice Network. The Environmental Justice Taskforce meeting provides a platform for constructive dialogue between these different groups to solve environmental problems facing the local community.

Task Force Meetings

At the Environmental Justice Taskforce meetings, there is a place at the table for concerned community members, environmental agencies and local government representatives. Come join in on the conversation!

  • Location: Government Plaza, Pine North/South meeting room, 5957 South Mooney Blvd., Visalia CA 93277
  • Phone: (559) 562-3060
  • Meeting Time: 1:30 – 3:00 pm
  • Meeting Schedule: Third Thursday of the month

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