Plan EJ 2014: Information Tools Development
EPA developed EJSCREEN, a web-based mapping tool, in 2012 that provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and methodology for calculating “EJ indexes,” which can be used for highlighting places that may be candidates for further review, analysis, or outreach. EJSCREEN is currently internal, but EPA is currently working with its governmental partners and stakeholder to make EJSCREEN available to the public.
EJSCREEN represents a significant step forward for EPA’s efforts to integrate environmental justice into its business processes. A major obstacle has been the lack of a consistent, accessible, and rigorous approach for identifying areas where there may be environmental justice concerns.
EPA has employed EJ screening tools in a wide variety of circumstances:
- Informing outreach and engagement practices
- Implementing aspects of permitting, enforcement, compliance, and voluntary programs
- Developing retrospective reports of EPA work
- Enhancing geographically-based initiatives.
Now that EJSCREEN is available to the public, EPA will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to identify communities where we can focus our efforts to deliver support to communities that need it most. It helps us better understand areas in need of environmental protection, health care access, housing, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization, climate resilience, and other services. Therefore, EPA is eager to work collaboratively with our partners at the federal, state and local levels to greatly enhance the support available to these communities.