CalEPA and OEHHA Announce Workshops and Webinars to Gather Input on Draft Update to CalEnviroScreen

Public input key for update to the first-in-the-nation statewide environmental health screening tool


CalEPA: Alex Barnum (916) 324-9670 (O)
OEHHA: Sam Delson (916) 324-0955 (O)
(916) 764-0955 (C)

SACRAMENTO – State environmental officials today released a major updated draft version of the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool (CalEnviroScreen) for public review and comment.

The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will hold two webinars and seven regional workshops this month on the new updated version of the tool. The webinars will discuss the proposed updates, and staff at the regional workshops will share the proposed updates, answer questions, and take public comment.

“By identifying communities burdened by pollution and vulnerable to its effects, CalEnviroScreen helps us prioritize our activities and demonstrates our commitment to advancing environmental justice,” said CalEPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez. “Ensuring all Californians have a voice in public processes is a critical component of environmental justice, and I encourage all interested Californians to participate in these workshops.”

The regional workshops will be held in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Calexico, Oakland, Sacramento, and Fresno.

The draft CalEnviroScreen 3.0 uses data on 20 indicators of pollution, environmental quality, and socioeconomic and public health conditions to calculate a score for each of the state’s 8,000 census tracts based on their overall pollution burdens and vulnerabilities. The draft update adds newer data for all of the indicators that have become available since the current version of CalEnviroScreen was released in 2014. It also improves the way some of the indicators are calculated.

The new draft adds two new indicators, which measure rent-adjusted income and cardiovascular health. The rent-adjusted income indicator shows the median income in each census tract after subtracting costs for rental housing. The cardiovascular health indicator shows the rate of visits to emergency departments for treatment of heart attacks.  In addition, the age indicator from earlier versions has been removed based on concerns that its measure of populations of children and the elderly in individual census tracts does not adequately represent these vulnerable populations. The new version also incorporates additional information on pollution along the California-Mexico border.

 “We are committed to ensuring that updates to CalEnviroScreen make best use of the available data to examine pollution and population characteristics across the state,” said OEHHA Acting Director Dr. Lauren Zeise.  “As we work to update CalEnviroScreen, we would like to hear from as many Californians as possible.”

The webinar and workshop dates, times, and locations are as follows:

First Webinar
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
11:00 AM- 12:00 PM PT

Second Webinar
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
11:00 AM- 12:00 PM PT

Los Angeles
Wednesday, September 7, 6-8 PM
Junipero Serra State Building
320 West Fourth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013 

San Bernardino
Thursday, September 8, 6-8 PM
5th Street Senior Center
600 W. 5th Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

San Diego
Tuesday, September 13, 6-8 PM
Cesar E. Chavez Campus: San Diego Continuing Education
1901 Main Street
San Diego, CA 92113

Wednesday, September 14, 6-8 PM
Carmen Durazo Cultural Arts Center
421 Heffernan St.
Calexico, CA 92231

Tuesday, September 20, 6-8 PM
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 9th St, Suite 290
Oakland, CA 94607

Wednesday, September 21, 6-8 PM
Fruit Ridge Community Collaborative
4625 44th Street
Sacramento CA 95820

Thursday, September 22, 6-8 PM
Cecil C. Hinton Community Center
2385 S Fairview Avenue
Fresno, CA, 93706

Additional information about the webinars and workshops, including optional registration and links for the webinars, is available here. Information about how to submit written comments is availble on the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 draft page.

OEHHA released the first version of CalEnviroScreen in 2013, followed by an updated version in 2014. It is the nation’s first comprehensive, statewide environmental health screening tool. It is currently available in both English and Spanish.