A Comparison of Major Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tools

Lakshika Nishadhi Kuruppuarachchi, Ashok Kumar, Matthew Franchetti (2017). “A Comparison of Major Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tools.” Environmental Management and Sustainable Development 6(1), 60-71. https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v6i1.10914

Abstract: The concept of Environmental Justice (EJ) has evolved in United Sates for more than 30 years. Since then most empirical studies have shown that low-income and minority neighborhoods are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards. Across the world, communities are struggling to protect their land, air, water, forests, and their livelihoods from damaging projects and activities with heavy environmental and social impacts. A Number of tools already exist to identify and map those areas with potential environmental justice concerns. This paper presents a comparison of the three major EJ tools; EJSCREEN (version 2016), CalEnviroScreen 2.0, EJ Atlas and their methodologies. There are some common parameters across these tools in presenting Environmental Justice and in identifying environmentally burdened communities, socially burdened communities, or both. Environmental burdens can include any environmental pollutant, hazard or disadvantage that compromises the health of a community. The tools are expected to help in understanding and studying the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens, decision making for disadvantaged communities in certain areas and in setting up environmental policies and planning.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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