Assemblymember Manuel Pérez statement on Draft CalEnviroScreen 2.0

Sacramento, California - State Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez made the following statement in response to the release by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) of the draft of its updated environmental health screening tool, Cal EnviroScreen 2.0:

Cal EPA has revised its EnviroScreen tool to provide a more finely grained assessment of environmental health burdens facing communities in California.  The 2.0 update not only includes more current information, but it adds new indicators and uses census tracts rather than zip codes in making its calculations. These updates are extremely important.  They make a meaningful difference in the quality of the information that the screening tool provides. This information, in turn, helps inform the work of policy makers, program developers and community advocates.  Ultimately, that is what the tool is for -- to help identify areas of our state that have higher pollution burdens and vulnerabilities, in order to prioritize the use of resources and target programming effectively.  A bill that I authored last year, AB 1329, directs the Department of Toxic Substances Control use the CalEnviroScreen tool to prioritize its enforcement activities in the most impacted communities.  Using the tool to look at the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, we see that several areas in our region have among the highest scores, ranking in the top 10% or 20% levels for pollution burdens and vulnerabilities.  This helps us put the power of data to illustrate the multiple and complex exposures facing many of our communities.  I appreciate the agency’s effort to incorporate new information and analytical approaches to make the EnviroScreen tool meaningful and useful.  I remain committed to working to ensure that environmental justice principles are integrated into state policies and actions.

The draft update for the CalEnviroScreen 2.0 was released on April 21. To read the “Draft California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool Report,” visit the website for the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.  The report is available in both English and Spanish.

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