Environmental Justice in Practice

Application of Maryland State Definitions

Environmental Justice (EJ) screening tools are used by federal, state, and local governments and other entities to identify communities that are or could be disproportionately impacted by cumulative public health and environmental burdens. EJ screening tools use environmental and demographic indicators to identify these communities, help prioritize investment and reduce further burden and harm in future siting and decision making.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

Maryland also has specific definitions of "overburdened" and "underserved" communities included in statute and the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has built a screening tool that includes these definitions, as well as a number of additional layers (e.g. point source pollution). MDE's tool builds on the federal tools, and the University of Maryland School of Public Health's tool, to help inform agency decisions about permitting and regulations.

Environmental Justice Fact Sheets by County

Maryland LCV used the data available in MDE's EJ Screen to build the following maps for each county, which visualize the overburdened and underserved areas by county and legislative district. We hope these can be useful for county-level decision making. Please be in touch with our Director of Climate Policy & Justice if you have questions.