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EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool | US EPA

Date:
June 11, 2015
Topics:
Data for Regional Planning, Environment, News, News Homepage, Public Participation

U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool that uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to identify places with potentially elevated environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. EJSCREEN’s simple to understand color-coded maps, bar charts, and reports enable users to better understand areas in need of increased environmental protection, health care access, housing, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization, and climate resilience.

EJSCREEN can help governments, academic institutions, local communities, and other stakeholders to highlight communities with greater risk of exposure to pollution based on 8 pollution and environmental indicators, including traffic proximity, particulate matter, and proximity to superfund sites. These indicators are combined with demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community 5-year Summary Survey enabling users to identify areas with minority or low-income populations who also face potential pollution issues.

EJSCREEN’s capabilities could provide support for educational programs, grant writing, and community awareness efforts so that users can participate meaningfully in decision-making processes that impact their health and environment. While EJSCREEN is being shared publicly to improve work on environmental justice, EPA is not mandating state governments or other entities use the tool or its underlying data.

EPA will collect feedback on the datasets and design of the tool until late 2015 and will release a revised version in 2016.

Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.  EPA’s goal is to provide all people with equal access to the environmental decision-making process to maintain a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

To access the tool, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/ejscreen.