Biden-Harris Administration Launches Version 1.0 of Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) launched on November 22 version 1.0 of the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), an essential step in implementing President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative and ensuring that the benefits of federal programs are reaching communities that are overburdened by pollution and historic underinvestment.
President Biden has delivered an historic economic and climate agenda that’s centered on workers and communities. Through his Justice40 Initiative, the Administration is delivering 40 percent of the overall benefits of Federal climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The CEJST will help federal agencies better identify communities that can benefit from the Justice40 Initiative.
Version 1.0 of the CEJST is a critical component of the President’s historic environmental justice commitments in Executive Order 14008. Federal agencies are currently implementing the Justice40 Initiative and are now able to use the CEJST to help identify disadvantaged communities. Justice40 covers hundreds of Federal programs representing billions of dollars in annual investment, including programs that were funded or created in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. A list of Federal programs covered by the Justice40 Initiative is available here.
Earlier this year, CEQ launched the beta version of the screening tool and solicited feedback from Federal agencies, Tribal Nations, State and local governments, the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council, environmental justice stakeholders, and the public. Version 1.0 of the CEJST incorporates new datasets, an updated methodology, improvements to the site experience, and more.
“After many months of national conversation and much hard work, today’s publication of the CEJST is a critical step toward making federal investments count for environmental justice – the very spirit of the Justice40 Initiative,” said Dr. Kyle Whyte, Co-Chair of the White House Environmental Indigenous Peoples and Tribal Nations Workgroup and George Willis Pack Professor at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. “Community-serving organizations, Tribal governments, federal agencies, and diverse others are now in the position to actively use the tool, honing it through application to advance equity, justice, and empowerment for the people they serve.”