Environmental Justice

MINNESOTA AREAS OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CONCERN

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has developed an interactive map that shows areas of environmental justice concern in the state.  The interactive map can be found here, interactive map. The MPCA uses the U.S. Census tract as the geographic unit to identify these areas. The agency considers a census tract to be an area of concern for environmental justice if it meets one or both of these demographic criteria:

  • The number of people of color is greater than 50%; or
  • More than 40% of the households have a household income of less than 185% of the federal poverty level

Additionally, the MPCA considers communities within Tribal boundaries as areas of concern. This is an initial first step to identify areas where additional consideration or effort is needed to evaluate the potential for disproportionate adverse impacts, to consider ways to reduce those impacts, and to ensure meaningful community engagement as described in MPCA's environmental justice framework.


USEPA RESOURCES

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has developed an interactive map that shows areas of environmental justice across the country: https://www.epa.gov/ejscreen.  The USEPA EJ Screen also uses U.S. Census tracts, but includes additional criteria, including 12 environmental indicators, 7 demographic indicators, and 12 EJ indexes. The USEPA EJ Screen allows users to compare a selected area to the state, USEPA regional area, or the entire nation. Free, training and bimonthly office hours are available!