Introduction to the Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool (C-FERST)
What is C-FERST?
Community engagement is crucial in helping citizens define and prioritize environmental and public health issues where they live, work and play. EPA’s Community-Focused Exposure and Risk Screening Tool (C-FERST) provides information to help users identify environmental issues in their communities, learn about these issues, and explore exposure and risk reduction options. Communities and decision makers can use C-FERST along with local information to advance community environmental health and wellbeing.
What information is in C-FERST?
C-FERST is an online tool which provides access to resources that can help communities learn more about their environmental issues and risks, compare conditions in their community with their county and state averages, and explore exposure and risk reduction options. The tool includes local maps, reports, fact sheets, links to other environmental and public health tools, information about other community projects, and structured guides to help communities plan their projects to assess local environmental conditions.
Who Should Use C-FERST?
C-FERST is intended to serve the needs of a broad range of users, including the general public, environmental and public health professionals, state and local risk assessors, EPA community involvement coordinators and environmental justice coordinators, and academic institutions serving local communities. It may be mutually beneficial for community members and groups to work with regional, state or local environmental experts, and local academic institutions to learn more about the community, identify and explore local issues, and interpret C-FERST data and results.
How was C-FERST Developed?
EPA scientists partnered with a variety of community groups in designing, piloting and testing C-FERST, including a number of communities who participated in EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) grant program.
A number of training resources are included in C-FERST to help users become familiar with the tool, including a “Quick-start” guide; a map user guide; and “use case examples.” With C-FERST, users can:
- View maps of their community's environment
- Compare local, county and state estimates
- Gather information about their environment
- Explore potential solutions & community projects
- Follow walk-through guides for conducting community assessments
For more info about C-FERST, contact: CFERSTmail@epa.gov
Jim Quackenboss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory