North Carolina environmental regulators are launching an online resource to give more information about pollution and health in the state.
The state Department of Environmental Quality will go live with the North Carolina Community Mapping System on Thursday.
"It will give them a picture of what their current community looks like in terms of permitted facilities," says NCDEQ Secretary Michael Regan.
Users will be able to look at any permitted facility in the state. You can play around with the system to find out about things like water and air quality, demographics, and health information in the area.
Regan says it will also include an environmental justice screening tool that community leaders and residents can access when discussing an industry.
“This tool creates an opportunity for a level playing field in terms of to access to data, so that both parties can discuss the future of their community and what they want their community to look like,” says Regan.
The mapping tool is part of a legal settlement over a federal civil rights complaint. It was filed by environmental groups alleging that the agency's permitting process for swine farms disproportionately impacted people of color in low-income communities.
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