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A Map towards Climate and Economic Justice

The CEJST tool which will help identify underserved communities

The White House Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ’s) Justice40 Initiative aims to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Through multiple Federal funding programs, federal agencies are working to increase investment and advance environmental justice in those communities — and identifying those areas of need is an important first step!

On November 22, the CEQ launched version 1.0 of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), which identifies communities that are experiencing burdens in eight categories: climate change, energy, health, housing, legacy pollution, transportation, water and wastewater, and workforce development.

This new and more advanced version of the tool includes Tribal Nations, U.S. Territories, and new data indicators of burden such as: projected climate risks showing flooding and wildfire risks, transportation barriers, lack of greenspace, lack of indoor plumbing (which can better identify communities with low- income households), redlining that shows historic underinvestment, legacy pollution centered on communities close to abandoned mines or defense sites, and water pollution coming from leaking underground storage tanks. This version of the CEJST is also more accurate and features an improved user interface that displays race and age demographics, an improved map side panel design, better zoom functionality, and the addition of geolocation.

We hope that you can use this tool to expand your understanding of the environmental issues impacting communities within the Greater Houston region and work to make your projects more equitable and impactful.

CEQ hopes to improve the tool based on public feedback, so if you have suggestions for improvement or access to other datasets that can be included, reach out through their online form.