One of the most valuable services the U.S. EPA can provide is both simple and fundamental: the basic data and information we need, so we can define and address environmental impacts.
EPA’s ‘Citizen Science’ program mobilizes public participation in the scientific process, by:
- identifying research questions,
- collecting and analyzing data,
- making new discoveries, and
- developing technologies and applications.
An area of work by EPA that is particularly applicable to airports and aviation is Environmental Justice. While the aviation industry (with lots of collaborative support from FAA) will always claim that aviation is a major economic stimulus, they do so selectively. They are always careful to ignore the many negatives – the examples of localized economic destruction, such as the noise ghettoes that grow near superHub airports. Thus, while expanding the world’s busiest airport [KORD] to accomodate even more flights per hour may add a few jobs and nudge profits upward for the two dominant carriers (United and American), this expansion is also further reducing property values – and health and quality of life – for tens of thousands of resdients east and west of O’Hare. Their costs are not compensated; instead, this is just a wholesale taking by FAA and the airport authority, to benefit the airlines.
One of the key tools EPA shares online is their Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool (EJSCREEN). Explore this webpage to learn more about environmental indicators, demographics indicators, data sources, reports, and more. Alternatively, click here to view an archived copy of the EJSCREEN User Guide (55-pages).
With EJSCREEN, selected data is compiled onto basemaps. The collection of basemaps is impressive; learn more from the scrollable PDF below: