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EARL e-News: EPA Releases EJ Mapping and Screening Tool

Updates on Environmental, Administrative and Regulatory Law

June 17, 2015

On June 10, 2015, EPA released EJScreen, an environmental justice (EJ) screening and mapping tool which replaced EJView, a previous publicly available EJ screening tool. EJScreen will provide EPA with a nationally consistent database and approach for combining environmental and demographic indicators into EJ indexes.

EPA will use EJScreen as a preliminary step when considering environmental justice in certain situations. EJScreen enables EPA to screen for areas that might be candidates for additional consideration, analysis, or outreach as EPA develops programs, policies, and activities which might affect communities. EPA will not employ EJ Screen to, among others, identify or label an area as an “EJ community,” quantify specific risk values for a selected area, and measure cumulative impacts of multiple environmental factors.

According to EPA, simple color-coded maps, bar charts, and reports will assist users in understanding areas in need of increased environmental protection, health care access, housing, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization, and climate resilience. Users will be able to access high-resolution environmental and demographic information for locations in the United States and then to compare their selected locations to the rest of the state, EPA region, or the nation.

EPA’s release of EJScreen begins a stakeholder engagement period over the next six months. EPA will collect feedback on the datasets and design of the tool and will release a revised version in 2016.

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

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