Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool is called ‘a work in progress’

President Joe Biden directed the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to create a Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), to help federal agencies identify disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

The White House released a beta version of the tool, which has been called a major step toward addressing current and historic environmental injustices and fulfilling a key Biden campaign promise.

Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) praised the Biden administration for launching the CEJST, which would provide government agencies with information and data on the effects that environmental harms have on people of color and disadvantaged communities.

“We applaud the White House for heeding our call and finally releasing a preliminary version of this important tool, and are grateful to CEQ for developing it. By getting it out in beta form, communities can begin to engage with this tool and provide insight on how to improve it,” said Bush and Markey.

“We look forward to further conversations and continued collaboration to ensure our historic federal investments reach the communities that need them most. Environmental justice needs to be at the forefront of all of our policies,” said Bush and Markey. “That means: healthy air, healthy water, healthy food, healthy communities, and a healthy climate.”

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so getting this tool right and putting it into practice will be critical,” said Bush and Markey. “We will work with environmental justice advocates and the Biden administration to make sure this tool effectively measures and mitigates against environmental hazards such as brownfields, radioactive waste, air pollution, lead paint, and asbestos that disproportionately harm Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.”

Bush, Markey, and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced the Environmental Justice Mapping and Data Collection Act of 2021, which sought to authorize funding for a system to comprehensively identify environmental justice communities using a range of demographic factors, environmental burdens, socioeconomic conditions, and public health concerns.

“Too many American communities are still living with water that isn’t safe to drink, housing that isn’t built to withstand climate change-fueled storms, and too few opportunities to benefit from the nation’s bright and clean future,” said CEQ Chair Brenda Mallory. “The Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool will help Federal agencies ensure that the benefits of the nation’s climate, clean energy, and environmental programs are finally reaching the communities that have been left out and left behind for far too long.”

The beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool can be found at

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