The EJScreen Environmental Justice Screening and Map Tool is a free online tool that identifies areas that are disproportionately impacted by environmental injustice. The tool is intended to be used for general planning, permitting processes, and environmental enforcement actions. According to the California Environmental Justice Alliance, CES data are useful for decision-makers and can help reverse unequal environmental enforcement practices. The tool can also direct capital investments to under-resourced neighborhoods.
The EJScreen Environmental Justice Screening and Map Tool can be used for many purposes, from screening environmental justice issues to reviewing the social and economic conditions of local populations. Its map feature makes it easy to navigate and allows for side-by-side comparisons. The tool also includes information on EPA Regions and States, as well as the Nation as a whole. This is by far the most effective environmental justice screening and mapping tool currently available.
The EJScreen Environmental Justice Screening and Map Tool was developed by an expert in environmental justice, Charles Lee. He outlined six guiding principles for the development of such a tool: it must be data-driven, science-based, informed by community experience, and widely available. It should be public-accessible and validated by a third party. For the EJScreen to be effective, it must follow these principles.
The tool can be used to determine whether environmental justice issues exist in particular communities and, if so, help advance environmental justice. The tool does have its limitations, however, as it captures only certain environmental indicators. For example, the data used to create the environmental indicators may vary in quality and coverage. Predictive values based on EJScreen are highly uncertain, especially for small geographic areas. As such, predictive values are not necessarily indicative of individual outcomes. Users should consider the lack of precision inherent in the data and make sure to read the documentation provided on the EJScreen website before using the tool.