Applications of Statewide Mapping Tools

Examples of Other States and Federal Mapping Tools

This page displays information on how some states are using their mapping tools to bring resources to overburdened communities (OBC), with New Jersey being the model state. Other states and federal government agencies are mentioned as well.

Washington Environmental Health Disparities Map

The tool was developed by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH). It was designed in collaboration with the University of Washington's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Front and Centered, Washington State Department of Health, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. Focus groups in the state provided input that would later help in the development of the map. It was first published in January 2019. Maintenance and training on how to use the map is funded by the state. Although the map only has an English version, the DOH has Tutorial videos in English, Spanish, Russian, or Vietnamese. 


New Jersey Environmental Justice Mapping, Assessment and Protection Tool (EJMAP)

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) developed the tool using their Geographic Information System’s digital data. The map was funded by the CDC through New Jersey grants and created on May 19, 2022. A tutorial was posted on their YouTube page however, both the map and the tutorial are only available in English. NJDEP introduces EJMAP: “The primary purpose of this information is to support the implementation of the Department’s proposed EJ regulations by providing applicants, residents, and other interested parties with the baseline information necessary to analyze a facility’s contribution to environmental and public health stressors in its host OBC” (NJDEP).

When Governor Murphy signed the historic Environmental Justice Legislation (S232) in 2020, New Jersey became the first state to require mandatory denials for permits on new facilities that didn’t fulfill the commitment to protect environmental justice communities. Under the bill, when assessing permit applications, NJDEP is required to evaluate the environmental and public health impacts of some facilities that negatively affect overburdened communities. 

NJDEP developed the final rules for their EJ Law, where they were adopted in April. Rule requirements consist of community engagement before the proposal of facilities in OBCs and the utilization of the EJ Map where community-level environmental and public health data is available. The tool helps applicants locate OBCs and avoid adding environmental and public health stressors.


CalEPA requested the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to develop the tool. Reports started being released in 2010. Public workshops and meetings were held statewide for comments on draft reports and versions of the tool. The first version was finalized in 2013 along with a press release. The Spanish version was released in 2015. The science-based tool can be utilized to identify burdened communities that are disproportionately impacted by pollution sources.

The state is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve public health and environmental impacts, specifically in disadvantaged communities. The California Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Program is a part of the state’s Climate Budget which helps fund climate adaptations and resilience. Applicants must demonstrate a project area that shows the need to bring in integrated infrastructure and connectivity planning and implementation.“Vision: The Transformative Climate Communities Program empowers the communities most impacted by pollution to choose their own goals, strategies, and projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution” (

Environmental Protection Agency EJScreen

The EJScreen is a screening tool with national data displayed for the use of EPA to make an approach in joining environmental and demographic socioeconomic indicators. The tool helps identify racial and ethnic demographics, income, environmental issues, disproportionate impacts that can be compared to other areas, and other factors along the topic. It may aid in supporting educational programs, grant applicants, community awareness, ect. The purpose is for the EPA to be more open with their data and their environmental justice work. The tool helps stakeholders make informed decisions and it creates a common ground where agencies and the public can meet when dealing with environmental concerns.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Justice Index

A series of statistical data is collected to measure the negative environmental impacts on health for subdivisions of counties. The data derives from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The census tracts are ranked into factors such as environmental, social, and health. Then, the tracts are categorized into different modules and domains.

Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool

The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) developed the tool after the Executive Order 14008 was issued in January 2021. The tool uses information based on indicators of burdens that disadvantaged communities face. It helps federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities to benefit from the Justice40 Initiative programs. Benefits include investments in climate, clean energy, and related areas that alleviate overburdened communities. A Spanish version will soon be available.