Connecticut Public Radio-This new map shows which CT communities are hardest hit by environmental hazards

Connecticut Public Radio | By Michayla Savitt

Published July 26, 2023 at 11:29 AM EDT
Children playing Lighthouse Point Park New Haven
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public
FILE, 2022: Kids and their parents cool off in a splash pad at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven during a stretch of hot weather in Connecticut.

A new interactive map from the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) shows areas in the state that are vulnerable to environmental hazards.

Researchers made the map in English and Spanish as a way to show where pollution is coming from – and how it’s impacting nearby people. The launch coincides with a newly-strengthened state environmental justice law, as advocates look for new ways to raise the profile of historically marginalized communities overburdened by pollution.

The map features indicators like health sensitivities, a community’s wealth, and its proximity to environmental hazards such as landfills, said Yaprak Onat, co-project manager and associate director of research at CIRCA.

“What this tool does is give a first glance screening of who’s taking the toll more – who is disproportionately affected by possible pollution burden,” Onat said.

CIRCA made the tool as part of statewide plans to mitigate climate change by identifying communities most at risk. Several other states have implemented similar environmental justice screening tools.