Upgraded Environmental Justice Tool Shows Barrio Logan Still Vulnerable To Pollution
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
California has just completed a major update of the state's groundbreaking health screening tool for communities.
CalEnviroScreen looks at a number of different factors to identify neighborhoods that have significant impacts from pollution and other factors.
The online map looks at 8,000 census tracts and gauges pollution, public health conditions and environmental quality. Red indicates a higher risk rate, while a green color represents lower risk.
The California Environmental Protection Agency and the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment worked together on the project.
The new map uses more current information and it measures more things than previous versions.
Barrio Logan remains an at-risk area because there are numerous sources of pollution and a population that's considered at-risk as well.
"You have lower income levels. You have more sensitive populations. They are going to be more vulnerable to that pollution so that's why Barrio Logan gets a very high score under CalEnviroScreen," said Alex Barnum of CALEPA.
National City, Chula Vista and El Cajon also face higher than normal risks from pollution.
"Many Californians live in communities that have multiple sources of pollution and it also recognizes that some communities bear higher burdens of pollution than other communities," Barnum said.
The environmental assessment is used to help funnel state money into affected neighborhoods and environmental justice initiatives.
California has already spent nearly $500 million raised through the state's cap and trade program on communities identified as having higher than normal pollution and environmental justice challenges.
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