The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a tool called EJSCREEN that will enable states and individuals to better determine areas at greater risk for environmental burdens and vulnerable populations through justice mapping and screening.
“EJSCREEN has been a valuable resource for EPA to advance our commitment to protect Americans most vulnerable to pollution,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “I’m excited to share this tool with the public to broaden its impact, build transparency and foster collaboration with partners working to achieve environmental justice."
The tool uses easy-to-understand data in the form of color-coded maps, chart and reports to facilitate better understanding of issues ranging from environmental protection and climate resilience to community revitalization. It could also be extremely useful as an educational, grant-writing and community awareness tool.
“Citizens having access to environmental and demographic data is extremely important in helping states implement environmental programs and ensure public health and environmental protection for all,” Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Director Dick Pedersen said. Pedersen has previously served as the president of the Environmental Council of States.
The EPA will be collecting feedback over the next six months on the tools’ efficacy so that it can release an improved version in 2016.