environmental effects indicators

Environmental EffectsThe percentile rank of the tract’s average of the following six Environmental Effects indicators.Source
Lead PaintDescription: The proportion of older residences that may have lead-based paint, which can cause developmental delays, seizures, miscarriages, and other serious health problems.

Method: Data on housing age come from the U.S. Census’s 2014-2018 5-year American Community Survey (ACS). This dataset provides the total number of houses and proportion of houses by year of construction.  We adjust each era of housing with a factor that reflects proportionate risk for that era. The weights are from Jacobs 2002; the adjustment for housing built before 1940 is 0.68; 1940-1959 is 0.43; and 1960-1979 is 0.08.

Year: 2018
2014-2018 American Communities Survey. Method here.
Wastewater ReleasesDescription: Wastewater in streams and other water sources may come from industrial, commercial, or agricultural sources and contain pollutants that can cause water-borne illnesses and diseases. 

Method: “Toxicity-weighted stream concentrations at stream segments within 500 meters, divided by distance in kilometers (km)” – EJScreen

Year: 2017
Hazardous Waste FacilitiesDescription: Hazardous waste facilities treat, store, or dispose of volatile substances that are dangerous to humans and may reach people through the air or water.

Method: Count of TSDFs (hazardous waste management facilities) within 5 km (or nearest beyond 5 km), each divided by distance in kilometers

Year: 2019
High-Risk Chemical FacilitiesDescription: High-risk chemical facilities maintain highly toxic, flammable, or explosive substances that may release acutely toxic substances, which can cause serious health effects or death.

Method: Count of RMP (potential chemical accident management plan) facilities within 5 km (or nearest one beyond 5 km), each divided by distance in kilometers.

Year: 2019
Superfund SitesDescription: Superfund sites, also known as Federal clean-up sites or National Priorities List sites, are locations where extremely hazardous chemicals have been dumped or otherwise poorly managed and may reach humans through the air or water, threatening human health.

Method: Count of proposed and listed Superfund sites within 5 km (or nearest one beyond 5 km), each divided by distance in kilometers

Year: 2019
Oil and Gas (Colorado only)Description: Oil and gas facilities include wells, wastewater pits, and tanks of oil or other dangerous chemicals located near populated areas. It does not include refineries, which are included in other indicators. Oil and gas operations have been linked to many health problems in nearby communities including headaches, nausea, cancer, asthma, and birth defects.

Method: Count of oil and gas facilities in each census tract.

Year: 2020
Mines (Virginia Only)Description: Mines can have a variety of impacts including contamination of local ground and surface water and airborne dust. This data-set weights active mines according to the number and type of permit violations, and abandoned mines according to their cleanup priority.

Method: Active mines were assigned a weight according to the number and severity of permit violations. Data requested from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. Abandoned mines were given weights according to their cleanup priority on the US Department of the Interior’s Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System (AMLIS) database.

Year: 2020
DMME Violations