How was EJScreen Developed?
The presidential Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice In Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations, instructs all federal agencies to "collect, maintain and analyze information assessing and comparing environmental and human health risks borne by populations identified by race, national origin or income."
Since President Clinton signed EO 12898 in 1994, EPA has used a variety of information resources to help the agency comply with the executive order and assess the potential for disproportionate environmental impacts and other significant environmental justice concerns for populations across the country. Several mapping tools have been developed and used by EPA, and EPA has made several of these available for public use.
As computer mapping technology has advanced, EPA recognized the opportunity and the need to develop a single, nationally consistent tool that can be used by EPA, its governmental partners and the public to understand environmental and demographic characteristics of locations throughout the United States. Thus, EPA developed EJScreen and made it available to everyone interested in environmental justice issues.
EJScreen is intended to better meet the Agency's responsibilities related to the protection of public health and the environment in a manner that is consistent with EO 12898 and the goals of EJ 2020, EPA's environmental justice strategic plan.
The goal in developing EJScreen was to build on EPA's experience in developing screening tools, and provide a new, user-friendly screening tool that addresses stakeholder concerns in an informative manner. An important part of this effort has been to ensure the screening tool reflects a balance between simple, screening-level information and high-quality data.
Development of EJScreen began in late 2010 and EPA began using an early version in 2012. EJScreen was peer reviewed in early 2014, and released to the public in 2015. Since the public release, EJScreen has been and will continue to be updated annually with the newest and best data available.