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CEQ Seeks Public Input on Draft Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released the beta version of the new Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST) on February 18. CEQ is seeking public input on the tool for the next 60 days. In its news release, the council highlights that the tool is “a major step toward addressing current and historic environmental injustices and fulfilling a key campaign promise from President Biden.”

The screening tool is meant to help federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities at the census-track level that are “marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.” The CJEST incorporates dozens of metrics, including proximity to wastewater discharge, to help inform agency decisions. To identify these communities, the tool utilizes publicly-available, nationally-consistent datasets, such as the National Risk Index, the American Community Survey, and the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) Model from 2020 as compiled by EPA’s EJSCREEN. The public can provide direct feedback on the CEJST website.