What is EJScreen?
EJScreen is a free tool created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EJScreen combines demographic and environmental data to display information about environmental justice.
What is environmental justice
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.
Who is this for
EJScreen is for everyone. It is particularly useful to politicians and policy advocates who are concerned with environmental and social issues. EJScreen is also for researchers interested in environmental justice.
Why does this matter
EJScreen matters because it can help indicate areas of environmental and social problems. Indicating these areas allows policymakers to direct investments to improve socio environmental deficiencies for the betterment of the global community.
Why is this relevant
EJScreen is relevant because of federal initiatives such as Justice40, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and State revolving Funds. These are just a few examples of federal programs and financing that have specific environmental justice requirements.
Benefits of EJScreen
EJScreen replaces EJView, the old version of the tool. EJScreen is an improvement because of relative ease of use and transparency of data. Users are still able to select a geographic region of interest, based on zip code (census block/group), and now can use color coded mapping to make comparisons to other areas. Furthermore, EJScreen has integrated reporting for selected areas at county and census tract level. The variables considered for EJScreen are fair representatives of environmental justice indicators. Variables include various air and water quality metrics, information about race and primary language spoken, and an environmental justice index that combines demographic and environmental information.
Opportunities for improvement
Knowledge of the user system is not immediately available.
Lack of reliable water quality data hinders the tool's assessment of water as it relates to environmental justice.
Results are ranked as percentiles which, while beneficial for comparing issues in different areas, is a challenge because percentile representation is not widely understood by a lay public.
Missing accessible definitions