IVAN (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods) is an environmental monitoring system that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems. IVAN Imperial was the first of seven IVAN Networks launched throughout California. Scroll down to learn more about IVAN and find out how you can get involved.
In November 2007 in the southeastern corner of California, in the border county of the Imperial Valley, 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 Valley 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 the Imperial Valley, a predominately 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 marks 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.
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 regulation agencies. Since 2010, the IVAN model has expanded to seven other locations in California, most notably the Imperial Valley, where it strives to empower disadvantaged communities to participate in solving environmental concerns.
At the Environmental Justice Task Force meetings, there is a place at the table for concerned community members, environmental agencies, and local government representatives. Come join in on the conversation!
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