October 21, 2020

Elizabeth Warren blasts the EPA for neglecting environmental justice

Climate change and environmental degradation don’t affect all Americans equally. Extreme heat, flooding, drought, and other consequences of our warming planet tend to hit low-income and nonwhite communities hardest. And pollution from highways and industry activity has long affected those communities most, too. These patterns are known as environmental injustice.

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama established a tool called EJSCREEN to literally map the factors that create environmental injustice. The map shows how 11 environmental indicators — things like “proximity to a Superfund site” or “lead paint indicator” — affect any given zip code in the U.S., overlaid with general demographic information about each area. (Disclosure: EJSCREEN was co-created by Lisa Garcia, the senior advisor to the administrator for environmental justice at the EPA under Obama. Garcia is now the Fix program director at Grist; she played no role in assigning or editing this article.) In recent years, some states — namely California, New York, Washington, and Maryland — developed their own, more comprehensive mapping tools, often based on EJSCREEN, to help them figure out where to direct attention and resources.

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Read the full article on Grist here.


By:  Zoya Teirstein
Source: Grist