What Happens Now? Environmental justice screening tools have been used for advocacy, planning, decision-making, reporting, educating, and more, at the local, state, and even federal scale. The Connecticut EJ Screen Mapping Tool ( CT EJ Screen) has been developed using Connecticut-specific data and is intended to be useful for all types of Connecticut residents at multiple geographic and governance scales. At community feedback sessions across the state, the researchers behind the CT EEJ Screen heard the same question from every audience: How do we make our community better with this information? Here are some ideas, inspired by the usage of similar EJ screening mapping tools in other states and by ideas from community feedback session participants.
Possible Actions for Individuals
- Learn about how your community and communities you are concerned about compared to others
- Learn about the benefits and risks various facilities bring to your community and others
- Learn why things developed as they did
- Think about ways to make your community better, given what you learned
- Share your knowledge and ideas with your friends, family, and neighbors
- Work with your representatives in the state legislature, sharing what you’ve learned in the tool
- You can find your representatives here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/webapps/cgafyl.asp
- Tips for contacting elected officials (Berkeley Library): https://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/ContactingOfficials/Tips
- Contact the mayor, city manager, or first selectperson of your town sharing what you’ve learned in the tool
- Provide public comment on the proposed city, town, or state legislation related to pollution in Connecticut
- You can find proposed and in-progress regulations here: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Browse/ProposedRegulations
- You can find Connecticut regulations that are available for comment here: https://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Browse/OpenForComment
- Share the tool with your teachers or your children’s teachers
- Educators and High School Students:
- Use the tool as a resource for developing an inquiry-based capstone project.
- Incorporate the tool as a secondary resource for equity-based discussions.
- Incorporate the tool as a curricular resource for interdisciplinary units.
- You can find a lesson plan about CT EJ Screen here (Coming Soon)
Possible Actions for Community Organizations:
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into your grant applications (for example, as part of your grant narrative to support your case for why your organization’s work is so critical for your community).
- CIRCA will be holding a webinar on using CT EJ Screen in grant applications in Fall 2023.
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen tool into your advocacy work (for example, to support your case to lawmakers to direct more resources to your community).
- Share CT EJ Screen and the accompanying resource pages with the community you serve.
Possible Actions for Local/Regional Government:
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into your town/region’s planning discussions and products (for example, when you work on your town/region’s Plan of Conservation and Development and Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, or if your town/region is engaged in additional planning processes like climate resiliency plans, open space plans, or affordable housing plans).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen tool into your town/region’s infrastructure and investment discussions (for example, by prioritizing high-scoring census tracts for economic development strategies or for green infrastructure installation).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen tool into your grant applications (for example, as part of your grant narrative to support your case for why federal funds should be invested into your town).
Possible Actions for State Agencies:
- Train agency staff on how to use the CT EJ Screen (see CIRCA’s tutorials and user guide).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into state planning discussions and products (for example, the state Plan of Conservation and Development and the state Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into state infrastructure and investment discussions (for example, by prioritizing high-scoring census tracts for economic development strategies or for green infrastructure installation).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into the application and evaluation process for state grants and other funding opportunities (for example, by ensuring that a certain percentage of projects selected to receive grants are located in high-scoring census tracts).
- Incorporate the CT EJ Screen into the implementation of state policies related to cumulative impacts (for example, SB 1147).
Other Useful Resources:
- CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Reporting Environmental Concerns and Problems: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/About/Reporting-Environmental-Problems
- CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Improving Transparency Around Regulations and Public Participation: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/About/Transparency-Predictability-and-Efficiency/Developing-Better-Transparency-Around-Regulation-and-Public-Participation-Initiative
- United Way 211 Search Engine for Finding Assistance with Health and Human Services: https://www.211ct.org/
- Air Quality Index, updated daily: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Air/Forecasting/AQI/Air-Quality-Index
- Air Quality Now: https://www.airnow.gov/ enables you to type an address and see the air quality status for those geographic areas.
- Find your local health department: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Local-Health-Admin/LHA/Local-Health-Administration---Site-Map
- CT Department of Public Health, Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Program: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Environmental-Health/Lead-Poisoning-Prevention-and-Control/Lead-Poisoning-Prevention-and-Control-Program
- CT Department of Public Health, Asthma Program: https://portal.ct.gov/DPH/Health-Education-Management--Surveillance/Asthma/Asthma-Program
- American Lung Association, Share Your Story About Air Quality: https://www.lung.org/policy-advocacy/healthy-air-campaign/share-your-story
We’d love to hear how the tool is being used throughout Connecticut! If you use CT EJ Screen to help your organization, school, town, or community, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Let us know of any updates or corrections needed to this map.