Environmental Variables not setting during SSH session

When setting environmental variable in Toolchain file, I see it set when locally logged into build machine. When I run the same thing during a SSH session, it doesn’t set. Is this by design?

Example here: https://github.com/jwinarske/rpi-vision/blob/master/cmake/clang.toolchain.cmake

Environment variables in a toolchain file affect the process that reads it. Your SSH session is unlikely reading the toolchain file for its environment settings.

How are you inspecting the environment in each case?