The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment through July 10 on the continued development of the Community Mapping System with Environmental Justice tool. See talking points on the tool.
Unveiled last month, the beta release of the mapping system provides communities with up-to-date information for future planning. Public feedback will help DEQ improve the next version of the mapping system.
The Community Mapping System features existing data from DEQ divisions along with census data, other geographic and socioeconomic data collected by federal or academic institutions, and health data provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The Community Mapping System also includes more North Carolina-specific information, such as state tribal layers and environmental permits, providing a complementary screening tool to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s EJSCREEN. New data layers will be added as they become available.
The comment period will be open until July 10, 2019.
How to submit public comment:
- Send comments via email to email@example.com
- Through the survey posted on the DEQ website (see proposed survey responses)
- Mail comments to:
N.C. Department of Environmental Quality
Attn: Renee Kramer
217 West Jones Street
1646 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1646
Words matter. The creation of this tool was prompted by a title VI settlement which specifically assured an environmental justice mapping tool. If this tool is intended to identify pollution, health disparities, and other characteristics that result in environmental injustice, then the name should be in accordance with its origin and intended purpose.
The May 2018 Title VI Settlement between DEQ and REACH, NCEJN and Waterkeeper requires DEQ to develop the mapping tool by April 1, 2019. DEQ has stated that it wants this EJ mapping tool to be applicable to all permits that it issues, and we support that goal. But we want this tool up and running and to be utilized in consideration of the 2019 Swine General Permit.
We also want this to be used on the LNG facility permitting in robeson County.