EPA Tool: Where Poverty and Pollution Intersect

smithsonian.com
July 14, 2015

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/epa-has-new-tool-mapping-where-pollution-poverty-intersect-180955663/#l4kJfOZmx8QGVJLf.99

Open up the Environmental Protection Agency’s new EJSCREEN tool, click into the map and pull up your neighborhood. Are you exposed to higher then average amounts of particulate matter? Or are you close to bunch of Superfund sites ridden with hazardous waste? And how do those environmental factors overlap with the demographic breakdown of your block?

 EJSCREEN, which anyone can use through the EPA’s website, pulls in the agency’s pollution data and intersects it with census data, so users concretely see where groups and industries are being particularly destructive to the environment, and where people are being disproportionately exposed to pollution. It overlays 12 environmental indicators, such as air particulate matter, lead paint and proximity to waterway dischargers, with six demographic indicators, including low income populations and percent minority.

The maps are color coded to reflect different levels of pollution, with grey at one of the spectrum representing minimal levels of discharge to bright red at the other for the highest ones. For example, an area in South Seattle, which is in the 80th percentile for minority popluations, is also in the 80th percentile for ozone pollution, and the 90th for water pollution discharge. The map is splashed yellow and red in that neighborhood. The surroundings areas, which are less than 50 percent minority, have much lower rates of both kinds of pollution.

To read on click on the link:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/epa-has-new-tool-mapping-where-pollution-poverty-intersect-180955663/?no-ist

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