A new mapping tool released by the Environmental Protection Agency can display the amount of particulate matter in air and lead-based paint in a given area (amongst other environmental factors), and guess what? New York City turns out to be just a massive cesspool of hazardous waste. The tool, called EJScreen which is shorthand for Environmental Justice Screen, was developed by the EPA to help advocates compare environmental hazards with an area's demographics, given that the two so often correlate. Popular Science, who first explored the mapping tool, says that the Environmental Justice movement the tool was built out to aid "seeks to stand up for communities disproportionately bearing the burden of environmental issues like pollution" (which in this case happens to be all of Manhattan.) The tool is in its beta form, but the EPA plans to hash out a more complete version in the future.
To experiment with the tool, visit the site and start by inputting a destination. Layers of information, like demographics or locations of superfund sites, contaminated waterways, and air emissions, can be added by using the Map Data drop down menu. The EPA has also written a guide for how to interpret the results of EJScreen.
· How Filthy Is Your Neighborhood? This Map Can Tell You [PopSci]
· EJ Screen [official]
· Cool Map Things archives [Curbed]