Tuesday, June 16, 2015

New Environmental Justice Tool Launched by the EPA

A new web-based mapping and screening tool from the EPA provides environmental and health information throughout the US. The tool is called EJSCREEN provides high-resolution maps showing nationally-based demographic and environmental information. Users choose a geographic area; the tool then combines demographic and environmental information for that area into indexes.

The screening information can be useful to residents, property owners and other stakeholders. It can also support a wide range of research and policy goals. The EPA indicates that the tool may help users identify areas with:
  1. Minority and/or low-income populations
  2. Potential environmental quality issues
  3. A combination of environmental and demographic indicators that is greater than usual
EJSCREEN may also be used to support:
  1. Educational programs
  2. Grant writing
  3. Community awareness efforts
EPA is sharing EJSCREEN with the public to be more transparent and to assist their stakeholders in making informed decisions about pursuing environmental justice. EJSCREEN is also intended to create a common starting point between the agency and the public when looking at issues related to environmental justice.

The federal agency will be seeking public input and updating the interim tool by early 2016.

Click here to access the tool.

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