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Science and Innovations

Online Tool Reveals Environmentally Vulnerable Communities

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a new online tool that identifies communities facing environmental health risks. Parts of northern Arizona are among the nation’s most vulnerable regions.

The interactive online map is called EJSCREEN. It combines environmental and demographic data to create an index identifying communities that may lack resources to address pollution.

One area of concern is northeastern Arizona, including the Navajo and Hopi Nations, where poverty levels are extremely high. The online map includes information about education and minority status as well as ozone levels, particulate matter, exposure to lead paint, and proximity to Superfund sites. EJSCREEN doesn’t yet include data on cancer rates or drinking water quality. It’s available to the public online.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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