WA State to Apply ‘Equity, Social Justice’ to Air Quality Programs
According to parts of the Climate Commitment Act, or CCA that was passed by the legislature in 2021 and went into effect this year, the Department of Ecology is going to apply social justice and equity towards climate issues.
DOE will identify areas where they think climate change affects the most people
According to The Center Square, DOE will:
"..identify specific areas and communities deemed at higher risk of air pollution due to their location and demographics."
The 16 areas already selected for study in the state include Spokane, Tri-Cities to Wallula, East Yakima, Lower Yakima Valley, and others. DOE has the complete list here.
While weather patterns, geography, and topography (the forms and features of the land, such as hills, valleys, etc) play a large role in how weather affects people, the DOE report also includes what they claim are economic, social, and ethnic 'disparities' that make potential 'bad' weather worse for these areas.
Pollution sources, such as industrial plants or other man-made features can also affect air quality.
DOE appear to be claiming that people of lower income, or certain ethnic or social groups are more severely affected by climate change than those who are not.
In other words, it's likely more about social justice, equity, and economic factors than the weather.
The state plans to fund what is called 'environmental justice' which will somehow result in money being given to these areas or communities, likely to be based upon socioeconomic factors.
A series of reports will be prepared after monitoring is done in these regions, with the data being used by the state for future funding decisions.
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Gallery Credit: Anuradha Varanasi