Environmental Justice Analysis Tools
Step 1. Identify Coordinates of Site of Interest
Obtain decimal coordinates of a site of interest using Google Earth Pro (free), iTouchMap, Google Maps (right click and select "What's here?"), ACME Mapper or MCDCgeomap (in satellite view mode). The location of existing facilities in EPA databases can be approximated using FRS Query, however, because coordinates shown in FRS Query results often mark the facility entrance, confirm the coordinates of pollution sources within the facility perimeter using the satellite view in Google Earth Pro, iTouchMap, Google Maps, ACME Mapper or MCDCgeomap. Record the coordinates for future reference. If necessary, convert degrees, minutes, seconds or address to decimal degrees in iTouchMap.
Step 2. Map Circles Around the Coordinates
Map a series of circular areas with 1.0-mile (landfill) or 1.0-mile, 3.0-mile, and 6.0-mile (air) radii around the coordinates of interest. Use tools such as Google Earth Pro (free) or Justice Map or EJScreen or DemographicsNow Library Edition.
Step 3. Generate Demographic Data for Chosen Radius
Several methods of generating demographic data for a circular area with a given radius are available. All methods rely on estimates derived from Census data. The estimates could deviate considerably from an actual count (the estimates are most accurate in densely and evenly populated census blocks). Therefore, the results should be used cautiously in low population density areas. In such areas, consider supplementing the estimates with data derived from Step 4 below.
The first method is provided by EPA's EJScreen.
Enter coordinates and radius in the form to the right or
go to EJScreen and follow these instructions:
1. Select Report on Selected Place.
2. Click radio button for Latitude and Longitude, enter
coordinates, and click Go.
3. Name the report, enter a Buffer (radius).
4. Click on Add to Map to draw circle around coordinates
5. Click on Get 2010 Census Report to generate EJScreen
Census 2010 Summary Report.
Note: "The ring will aggregate appropriate portions of the intersecting block groups, weighted by population, to create a representative set of data for the entire ring area, honoring variation and dispersion of the population in the block groups within it."
A second method is provided by DemographicsNow Library Edition available online at many local public library sites.
1. Select the Demographics tab.
2. Click the drop down arrow in the Enter Georgraphy field.
3. Select Create Custom Locations.
4. Select Enter Coodinates. Enter Name, Latitude and Longitude (use negative sign) and click Add.
5. Enter multiple Ranges (e.g., 1, 3, 6) and set Units to Miles.
6. Click OK.
7. Under Report Type, select U.S. Census 2010 Race Ethnicity Comparison.
A third method is provided by Justice Map.
1. Enter coordinates in Address field (format: 33.5619, -86.8023).
2. Select Advanced Mode and Layer of interest (typically Black).
3. Enter Distance (miles): 1.0 and Intersection Type.
4. Enter Add a Distance: 3.0 and Submit.
5. Check Compare box. Popup window will include demographic data for 1.0 and 3.0 mile radii.
6. Reset Distances and enter Add a Distance: 6.0. Uncheck and re-Check Compare box. Popup window will include demographic data for 1.0 and 6.0 mile radii.
Note: Circle Intersection Types: "Centroid (fast) is the default and will include any polygon whose center point is within the circle. Fully Contains (slower) will only include polygons that are completely inside the circle. Intersects (slowest) will include any polygon that touches the circle." "Polygons" are your selection of County, Tract, Block Group or Block.
A fourth method is provided by the Missouri Census Data Center Circular Area Profiles.
1. Enter latitude, longitude, radius.
2. "Check to see detailed geographic units within circle(s) report."
3. Click on "Generate Report." The resulting report is in text without any maps.
Note: "CAPS aggregates block groups or MCDs using a method that totally includes or excludes an area from the circle based on a single internal point."
Step 4. Determine Demographics of Census Blocks Surrounding Facility Site
If appropriate, determine the racial demographics of specific census blocks near the pollution source. Find in Justice Map or U.S. Census Interactive Population Map or Statistical Atlas.
Step 5. Map Demographics
Map racial demographics of the area around a site. The easiest demographic mapping application to use is Justice Map. Its finest reolution is Census Block. Its only drawbacks are that it does not allow you to choose colors or data intervals and data breakpoints. KMZ files can also be downloaded for use in Google Earth Pro.
Another useful mapping application is U.S. Census American FactFinder - Advanced Search. Its finest resolution is Census Block.
1. In the left panel menu, select Topics > Year > 2010 > Close.
2. In the left panel menu, select Geographies > Name Tab. Under Geography Filter Options, select the geographic units to be compared in the map (e.g., census block, block group, or tract).
3. Under Geography Results, check the geography to be mapped (e.g., All Blocks within Perry County, Alabama or All Census Tracts within Florida) and click Add. Close.
4. Under Search Results, check the box identified as QT-P5 Race Alone or in Combination: 2010 and click View at the bottom.
5. Under QT-P5, Table View tab, there are several possible Actions. Click on "Create a Map." A message box will appear directing you to click on a data value in the table to map.
6. In the table, locate the line that says "Black or African-American alone" and click on the value in the Percent column.
7. A dialog box will appear asking if you wish to Show Map or Cancel. Click on Show Map.
8. Several possible map modifications and features are provided, including choice of colors and data intervals and breakpoints. The result might look like the image below.
Another useful demographic mapping application is EPA's EJScreen. Its finest resolution is Cenus Block Group. Note that RSEI facilities can be added to EJScreen by selecting Map Data > Search Available Data > click on Add below the thumbnail image.
And another demographic mapping application is DemographicsNow Library Edition. Its finest resolution is Cenus Block Group.
Step 6. Identify and Compare Sources of Toxic Releases
Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI)
Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) is a screening-level model that analyzes factors that contribute to human health risk. These factors include the amount of chemical released, the degree of toxicity, and the size of the exposed population. RSEI calculates scores to highlight releases that would potentially pose greater risk over a lifetime of exposure. Because of data limitations, RSEI is not a substitute for a site-specific risk assessment.
RSEI produces three types of results: pounds-based (releases), hazard-based, and risk-related (score).
• RSEI Pounds-pounds-based results are simply the amount of pounds reported by TRI facilities as released or transferred. Note that pounds in RSEI may differ from TRI pounds because they represent only those pounds modeled in RSEI and not all pounds from all releases.
• RSEI Hazard-hazard-based results are calculated by multiplying the pounds released by the chemical-specific toxicity weight for the exposure route (oral or inhalation) associated with the release. Hazard-based results are only available for chemicals with RSEI toxicity weights and do not include any exposure modeling or population estimates.
• RSEI Score-risk-related results combine surrogate dose with toxicity weight and population estimate, producing a unit-less value or score. Risk-related results are not independently meaningful and should only be used comparatively in relation to other model results.
Strengths and Limitations of the RSEI Model How to Use - and Not Use - RSEI
View a larger RSEI map here.
Toxic Air Emissions Reports and Maps
To generate a Toxic Air Emissions Report for a particular facility, click on the table below and enter a TRI Facility Id, a Reporting Year, Environmental Medium containing "Air", and the numbers 1 through 5 in the Display Order and Sort Columns as shown in the example below, then click "Search Database" button.
In the map below, zoom in to the area of interest and click on facility markers for more RSEI information. EasyRSEI is a computer program that will generate pounds-based releases, hazard-based scrores, and risk-related scores for selected environmental media, selected facilities, and selected locations.