WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released EJSCREEN to help users understand the impacts of pollution on the American community, according to a press release.

The tool identifies areas with increased environmental burdens and vulnerable populations using high-resolution maps, demographic and environmental data, noted the release. It covers regions that need greater “environmental protection, health care access, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization and climate resilience.”

“EJSCREEN provides essential information to anyone seeking greater visibility and awareness about the impacts of pollution in American communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in the release. “EJSCREEN has been a valuable resource for EPA to advance our commitment to protect Americans most vulnerable to pollution. I’m excited to share this tool with the public to broaden its impact, build transparency, and foster collaboration with partners working to achieve environmental justice.”

The resource can help the public become more engaged with environmental issues. The release stated EJSCREEN can be used by governments, academic institutions, local communities and other stakeholders to gauge pollution risks.

Indicators used to highlight exposure risk include traffic proximity, particulate matter and proximity to superfund sites, reported the release. The tool could help educators, grant writers and communities in their efforts as well.

“State environmental agencies appreciate EPA’s collaborative work on the use and release of this important tool,” said Dick Pedersen, director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality and past president of the Environmental Council of States, in the release. “Citizens having access to environmental and demographic data is extremely important in helping states implement environmental programs and ensure public health and environmental protection for all. To that end, EJSCREEN facilitates vital citizen engagement.”

Click here to access the tool.

Click here to read the entire release.