Nation-Leading CalEnviroScreen Marks a Decade of Prioritizing Vulnerable Communities 

What to know: Launched in 2013, CalEnviroScreen is a national model for environmental justice mapping that identifies communities bearing the heaviest pollution burdens, to date helping the state direct $6.7 billion in California climate investments to priority populations

SACRAMENTO – Ten years ago, California launched CalEnviroScreen, the nation’s first comprehensive environmental health screening tool that identifies areas of the state that are most impacted by pollution to help advance environmental justice. Combining data on various environmental, health and socioeconomic challenges, the state has used this mapping tool to focus environmental protection and enforcement actions where they are needed most.

To date, CalEnviroScreen has helped to direct $6.7 billion of the state’s $9.3 billion in California Climate Investments to projects benefiting priority populations. With an additional $13.2 billion currently appropriated to fund more California Climate Investments projects, CalEnviroScreen will continue to play a significant role in directing climate funding to priority populations for years to come.

Explore CalEnviroScreen Results Map

“California leads the nation in groundbreaking action to confront the climate crisis and protect our most vulnerable communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “Over the past decade, our state has used this innovative tool to prioritize climate investments where they are needed most, and we will continue this important focus on safeguarding the health of frontline communities across California.”

CalEnviroScreen 4.0 results map

The Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has released several updates to CalEnviroScreen and continues working with partners to improve the tool. Key developments have included the move from ZIP codes to the smaller census tracts, filling data gaps at the US-Mexico border, improvements to existing indicators, and the addition of new indicators, such as drinking water quality, lead risks, and housing cost burden.

CalEnviroScreen Anniversary StoryMap

Racial makeup of each decile of CalEnviroScreen 4.0 score

CalEnviroScreen has been a model for environmental justice screening tools in other states including Michigan, Colorado, and Washington. The U.S. EPA introduced a national mapping and screening tool to the public in 2015 and the Council on Environmental Quality, as part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, recently released the Climate and Economic Justice Screening tool.

Click here to learn more about CalEnviroScreen and explore the interactive map and data dashboard.