The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) developed an environmental health screening tool, CalEnviroScreen. CalEnviroScreen uses existing environmental, health and socioeconomic data to consider the extent to which communities across the state are burdened by and vulnerable to pollution. The League’s primary concern regarding CalEnviroScreen has been the intent and purpose of the tool and how it will ultimately be used. Without a clearly defined purpose, definitions of terms and scope of the tool, its data could be misused, especially for CEQA analysis.
The second draft of this tool and a draft guidance memo were released in January 2013 and the comment period closed on Feb. 1. The League submitted two sets of comments. The first is from a coalition of local governments. In addition, the coalition also redrafted the guidance document for CalEnviroScreen. Second, the League sent its own letter in order to express concerns not specifically addressed by the coalition.
While the comment period has officially closed, local elected officials are encouraged to use the sample letter that the League has drafted if your jurisdiction would like to reinforce the concerns raised by local governments pertaining to this tool.