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Environmental justice (EJ) is the political and economic distribution of ecological risk in order to maintain that compatible populations are not subject disproportionately to environmental hazards. It is known in the policy literature that traditional scales of measuring a population—such as by census tract, county line, township government, or zip code—are accurate, but incomplete measurements of the problem as scientific and legal solutions need an analysis with better scope and scale. The properties of scale and scope are empirical and inherently geographical, but the comprehensive EJ methodology needs to also consider qualitative information and data. For instance, factors such as soil contamination, public health patterns, air and groundwater pollution, or political power do not have distinct boundaries yet are part of the full EJ analysis. This is significant many EJ initiatives that have a specific risk hazard may vary from place to place, but the environmental and social risks to be remediated and revitalized exist on a continuum throughout an entire region. The suggested method of research proposed by this project, called cumulative impact assessment, lends itself to reducing some of the discrepancies by expanding the methods used in the assessment. Specifically, the proposed method uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to take into account several additional factors not used by administrators such as political capacity, public health hazard densities, and multiple economic indicators, which may increase the depth and scope of EJ. This study will use alternative data to create a better method for mapping EJ and tests the new measures with a local qualitative analysis.

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