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The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to conduct a technical review of the measures and methods used in the Washington State Department of Health’s Environmental Health Disparities (EHD) Map.
We found that Washington’s EHD Map is one of many in the United States. It uses a similar range of indicators, methodology, and source data compared with the most sophisticated environmental justice (EJ) mapping tools. These EJ tools use some of the best data available at small geographical levels to measure environmental exposures and health disparities. They provide insight into a variety of the environmental harms present in communities and how well-equipped these communities are to overcome those challenges.
Over time, developers will need to regularly review their EJ map tools. The HEAL Act requires the Washington EHD Map to be regularly revised and updated, with comprehensive evaluations occurring every three years. Currently, Washington's tool is comparable in sophistication and detail to other existing tools. However, there are a few additional or enhanced features found in other state tools that Washington does not have, including the following: