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Playing it safe: assessing cumulative impact and social vulnerability through an environmental justice screening method in the South Coast Air Basin, California.

Sadd JL, Pastor M, Morello-Frosch R, Scoggins J, Jesdale B - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Bottom Line: Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of environmental hazards do not reflect the multiple environmental and social stressors faced by vulnerable communities.For hazard proximity, the EJSM uses GIS analysis to create a base map by intersecting land use data with census block polygons, and calculates hazard proximity measures based on locations within various buffer distances.The result is a cumulative impacts (CI) score for ranking neighborhoods within regions that can inform diverse stakeholders seeking to identify local areas that might need targeted regulatory strategies to address environmental justice concerns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA 94001, USA. jsadd@oxy.edu

ABSTRACT
Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of environmental hazards do not reflect the multiple environmental and social stressors faced by vulnerable communities. We propose an Environmental Justice Screening Method (EJSM) as a relatively simple, flexible and transparent way to examine the relative rank of cumulative impacts and social vulnerability within metropolitan regions and determine environmental justice areas based on more than simply the demographics of income and race. We specifically organize 23 indicator metrics into three categories: (1) hazard proximity and land use; (2) air pollution exposure and estimated health risk; and (3) social and health vulnerability. For hazard proximity, the EJSM uses GIS analysis to create a base map by intersecting land use data with census block polygons, and calculates hazard proximity measures based on locations within various buffer distances. These proximity metrics are then summarized to the census tract level where they are combined with tract centroid-based estimates of pollution exposure and health risk and socio-economic status (SES) measures. The result is a cumulative impacts (CI) score for ranking neighborhoods within regions that can inform diverse stakeholders seeking to identify local areas that might need targeted regulatory strategies to address environmental justice concerns.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Map of a portion of the study area showing CI Polygons in white, and areas not scored (including open space, vacant land, industrial land use, etc.) in gray.
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f1-ijerph-08-01441: Map of a portion of the study area showing CI Polygons in white, and areas not scored (including open space, vacant land, industrial land use, etc.) in gray.

Mentions: The regional base map is constructed by integrating specified residential and sensitive land use classes (see below) as classified by the California Air Resources Board [25]. This focuses CI screening on areas with land uses where people reside or locations hosting schools, hospitals, day care centers, parks and other sensitive receptor locations. Areas that are, for example, strictly industrial or commercial or undeveloped open space are not included in the regional base map (see Figure 1).


Playing it safe: assessing cumulative impact and social vulnerability through an environmental justice screening method in the South Coast Air Basin, California.

Sadd JL, Pastor M, Morello-Frosch R, Scoggins J, Jesdale B - Int J Environ Res Public Health (2011)

Map of a portion of the study area showing CI Polygons in white, and areas not scored (including open space, vacant land, industrial land use, etc.) in gray.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3108119&req=5

f1-ijerph-08-01441: Map of a portion of the study area showing CI Polygons in white, and areas not scored (including open space, vacant land, industrial land use, etc.) in gray.
Mentions: The regional base map is constructed by integrating specified residential and sensitive land use classes (see below) as classified by the California Air Resources Board [25]. This focuses CI screening on areas with land uses where people reside or locations hosting schools, hospitals, day care centers, parks and other sensitive receptor locations. Areas that are, for example, strictly industrial or commercial or undeveloped open space are not included in the regional base map (see Figure 1).

Bottom Line: Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of environmental hazards do not reflect the multiple environmental and social stressors faced by vulnerable communities.For hazard proximity, the EJSM uses GIS analysis to create a base map by intersecting land use data with census block polygons, and calculates hazard proximity measures based on locations within various buffer distances.The result is a cumulative impacts (CI) score for ranking neighborhoods within regions that can inform diverse stakeholders seeking to identify local areas that might need targeted regulatory strategies to address environmental justice concerns.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Science, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA 94001, USA. jsadd@oxy.edu

ABSTRACT
Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and state authorities like the California Air Resources Board (CARB), have sought to address the concerns of environmental justice (EJ) advocates who argue that chemical-by-chemical and source-specific assessments of potential health risks of environmental hazards do not reflect the multiple environmental and social stressors faced by vulnerable communities. We propose an Environmental Justice Screening Method (EJSM) as a relatively simple, flexible and transparent way to examine the relative rank of cumulative impacts and social vulnerability within metropolitan regions and determine environmental justice areas based on more than simply the demographics of income and race. We specifically organize 23 indicator metrics into three categories: (1) hazard proximity and land use; (2) air pollution exposure and estimated health risk; and (3) social and health vulnerability. For hazard proximity, the EJSM uses GIS analysis to create a base map by intersecting land use data with census block polygons, and calculates hazard proximity measures based on locations within various buffer distances. These proximity metrics are then summarized to the census tract level where they are combined with tract centroid-based estimates of pollution exposure and health risk and socio-economic status (SES) measures. The result is a cumulative impacts (CI) score for ranking neighborhoods within regions that can inform diverse stakeholders seeking to identify local areas that might need targeted regulatory strategies to address environmental justice concerns.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus