What Is It?
CalEnviroScreen is a science-based mapping tool that helps identify California communities that are most affected by many sources of pollution, and that are often especially vulnerable to pollution’s effects. CalEnviroScreen uses environmental health, and socioeconomic information to produce a numerical score for each census tract in the state.
The results are depicted on maps so that different communities can be compared to one another. A census tract with a high score is one that experiences higher pollution burden and vulnerability than census tracts with low scores. CalEnviroScreen ranks census tracts based on data that are available from state and federal government sources. CalEnviroScreen 4.0 is the most current version and was released in October 2021.
The CalEnviroScreen 4.0 model is based on CalEPA’s definition of cumulative impacts.
The information is based off each census tract in California.
It presents information for the entire state on a relative scale to all other census tracts
The model is made up of 4 components – Two Pollution Burden components: Exposures and Environmental Effects; and two Population Characteristics components: Sensitive Populations and Socioeconomic Factors.
Each component is made up of a set of indicators.
There are 13 Pollution Burden indicators and 8 Population Characteristics indicators.
Who Developed It?
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)
California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA)
- To identify California’s most environmentally burdened and vulnerable communities.
- To assist CalEPA’s boards and departments with decisions, such as prioritizing resources and cleanup activities.
- Disadvantaged communities in California are targeted for investment of proceeds from the State’s cap-and-trade program. CalEPA designated census tracts with the highest CalEnviroScreen scores as disadvantaged communities for investing cap-and-trade proceeds.
- Used by CalEPA’s Environmental Justice Task Force and other state entities as guidance in allocating grants and in other decisions.