While it is always wise to first seek out local organizations that can inform your congregation about environmental injustices that are near or far away, there are a host of websites that provide information that could be relevant to your community and state. When it comes to matters such as air and water pollution or access to affordable, healthy food, always seek to keep track of who suffers the most in terms of race and class. For example, studies show that black people are more likely to breathe in higher levels of air pollution than whites. They are also more likely to live within 30 miles of a coal plant, the high exposure zone for the pollutants that cause afflictions ranging from birth defects to heart disease.
Recommended Sites for Local and Regional Research
The Energy Justice Map
You can insert your address or zip code into this map and learn about both dirty and clean facilities in your area. Facilities categorized as coal, nuclear, biomass, trash, hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, and more can all be found here. Moreover, you can add layers to the map that show you the racial demographics and income levels of your community and the surrounding areas.
The EPA’s MyEnvironment
The US Environmental Protection Agency provides this interactive program that allows you to enter your geographical location to access data about toxic releases, air quality, water quality, state energy sources, cancer risk, and more.
TOXMAP: Environmental Health Maps
The US National Library of Medicine provides this research tool for locating “superfund” sites of hazardous waste cleanup, reported toxic chemical releases, and various waste management activities.
Map of Fracking Activities in Each State
This map program can tell you about oil and gas drilling in your state along with related earthquake activities.
Map of Fraccidents
Earth Justice created this interactive map that details reports of poisoned drinking water, polluted air, industrial disasters, and more that are related to oil and gas drilling.
Factory Farm Map
Food and Water Watch created this map which shows where factor farms are located. These are farms that confine thousands of cows, hogs, and chickens in tightly packed facilities. These farms generate air and water pollutants that pose health hazards to workers and neighboring communities.
Food Access Research Atlas
This map provided by the United States Department of Agriculture provides information on food access for census tract areas. For a first time user, the map is not user-friendly, so it helpful to begin by reading about how the USDA measures food access
Lead Poisoning Research
While this article reports on the lack of data on lead poisoning and the problems with much of the data that exists, it also provides maps and information about the data that does exist.