Frequent Questions

How will an EPA regional office determine whether a permitted activity impacts a potential overburdened community? What screening tool or process will EPA regional offices use to screen permit applications?

The Agency has developed a nationally consistent screening tool to help identify communities that are potentially overburdened. This tool, known as EJSCREEN, is one of several tools being developed under Plan EJ 2014. EPA anticipates that its regional offices will use EJSCREEN and other readily available information, including known community concerns, to help prioritize their permits for enhanced outreach. In cases where EJSCREEN is not appropriate for use in screening because the relevant data were not available for the area, the region will complete a similar screening by reviewing available demographic and environmental data. EPA expects that in most circumstances EJSCREEN will be the appropriate tool for initial screening. Please visit EPA’s Plan EJ 2014 website (http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/plan-ej/index.html) for more information about the EJSCREEN tool.

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