Chapter 7 Environmental Justice Alternative Policy D - Modify Minority and English Isolation Criteria by Income AND Education

This option adds two modifiers to the criteria for minority and English isolation. Specifically, block groups qualify for EJ status by minority or English isolation only if the median income of the block group does not exceed 125% of the statewide median AND no more than half of the population 25 years and over has a college degree. This means that, regardless of criteria, the median income cannot exceed $92,708.75 and the percentage of the population 25 years and older with a 4-year college degree or higher cannot exceed 50%.

Under Alternative Environmental Justice Policy D option, environmental justice communities are defined as neighborhoods (U.S. Census Bureau census block groups) that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • The median annual household income is at or below 65 percent of the statewide median income for Massachusetts; or
  • 25 percent or more of the residents are minority AND the median annual household income does not exceed 125 percent of the statewide median income for Massachusetts AND the percentage of people 25 years and over with a bachelors degree or higher does not exceed 25 percent; or
  • 25 percent or more of the residents are lacking English language proficiency AND the median annual household income does not exceed 125 percent of the statewide median income for Massachusetts AND the percentage of people 25 years and over with a bachelors degree or higher does not exceed 25 percent.

Compared to the benchmark 2010 environmental justice community criteria, the income- and education-modified criteria of this alternative policy reduces the number of block groups qualifying as an environmental justice community by 646, from 2193 to 1547 in total. Under this Environmental Justice Alternative Policy D, 31.1% of Massachusetts block groups are classified as environmental justice communities. This classification can be visualized in Figure 7.1 below, which shows the percentage of block groups that fall into each category or combination of environmental justice criteria.

Tree map of block groups classified as environmental justice by Alternative EJ Policy D - Modify Minority and English Isolation Criteria by Income AND Education.

Figure 7.1: Tree map of block groups classified as environmental justice by Alternative EJ Policy D - Modify Minority and English Isolation Criteria by Income AND Education.

These classifications can be visualized and explored geographically in the interactive map below. Click on the search tool (white box in upper left of map) and type in a town or city name to zoom to that municipality. Click on individual block groups to see more detailed demographics. Click on the layers button (white box in the upper right of the map) and activate the Lost EJ Policy D layer in the map to see the block groups that are delisted (i.e. “Lost”) as environmental justice communities under Policy D, shown as light red or salmon colored polygons.