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A new online map identifies environmental inequality in Michigan

A purple ice plant flourishes under a spectrum of light designed to help it flower and thrive in an indoor environment at Fresh Impact Farms in Arlington, Va.
Whitney Pipkin for NPR
A purple ice plant flourishes under a spectrum of light designed to help it flower and thrive in an indoor environment at Fresh Impact Farms in Arlington, Va.

A new online map identifies environmental inequality in the state.

Michigan’s environmental agency is looking for public feedback on the project.

The Environmental Justice Screening Tool is in the final stages of development.

The tool uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the state to represent issues like water pollution and air quality.

The map pairs those environmental hazards with health conditions like asthma and heart disease.

It also represents data on race and socioeconomics.

The map combines all this information to assign each census area what the state calls an “overall score.”

Similar maps have been used in other states to determine which communities have the most need.

Local governments and citizens can use the map to identify issues of environmental health within their region.

The state will take public comments on the project through May 16th.