According to EPA, Environmental Justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”
EJSCREEN allows anyone to look up their level of environmental risk and compare it to the rest of the state, EPA region, or nation. The reports and charts generated by EJSCREEN allow users to better understand which areas need increased environmental protection, infrastructure improvements, and climate resilience. This information can provide support for educational programs, grant writing, and community awareness efforts so that the public can participate meaningfully in decision-making processes that impact their health and environment.
The tool is easy enough to use and can be accessed at http://www2.epa.gov/ejscreen . There’s also a user guide to help you get started. EPA wants you, the public, to use the tool and provide feedback so they can improve EJSCREEN. You can provide feedback here.
Jen Quinn is central Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for PennFuture and is based in Harrisburg. She tweets @QuinnJen1.