Colorado EnviroScreen Updates

On August 2nd, 2023 we corrected the following data date errors in the indicator description table on Colorado EnviroScreen version 1.0. The Technical Documentation already listed the correct information.

a table with data and text

Additionally, the pop-up information of ten Census Block Groups was corrected to display only "Area under Tribal Jurisdiction." Previously, the pop-ups contained all the Disproportionately Impacted Community criteria. However, the most correct information to display based on HB23-1233 DI Definition is "Area under Tribal Jurisdiction."  Colorado EnviroScreen does not display environmental health data for areas under tribal jurisdiction (see FAQ page 4).

For the Open Data download, the field "May 2023 DI Type" was also corrected to display "Area under Tribal Jurisdiction" rather than "Within a Justice 40 Census Tract" for those ten census block groups.

Impacted Census Block Groups include: 
080679404002, 080679403003, 080679403002, 080679403001, 080839411002, 080839411001, 080079404002, 080079404001, 080679404003, 080679404001

This update did not change the Disproportionately Impacted Community classification for the ten census block groups. It only corrected how that classification is displayed within Colorado EnviroScreen.

On May 4, 2023, the legislature passed a bill for Electric Vehicle Charging And Parking Requirements, which implemented the Task Force’s recommendations to improve and standardize the definition of disproportionately impacted community. On May 23, Governor Polis officially signed the new definition of the disproportionately impacted community into law.

What is in the new definition?

The new definition continues to define disproportionately impacted communities at the census block group scale. The Census block group scale is the smallest geographic scale of data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. Disproportionately impacted communities include:

  • Low-income communities: Census block groups where more than 40% of households are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
  • Communities of color: Census block groups where more than 40% of the population identify as anything other than non-Hispanic White.
  • Housing cost-burdened communities: Census block groups where more than 50% of households spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs like rent or mortgage payments.
  • Linguistically isolated communities: Census block groups where more than 20% of the population live in households where all adults speak a language other than English and speak English less than very well.
  • Historically marginalized communities: Communities with a history of environmental racism created through redlining or anti-Black, anti-Hispanic, anti-immigrant, or anti-Indigenous laws, policies, or practices that continue to experience present-day environmental health disparities.
  • Cumulatively impacted communities: Communities where multiple factors, including socioeconomic stressors, vulnerable populations, disproportionate environmental burdens, vulnerability to environmental degradation or climate change, and lack of public participation may act cumulatively to affect health and the environment and may contribute to persistent environmental health disparities. Cumulatively impacted communities can be presumptively identified in one of two ways:
    • They are in a census block group with a Colorado EnviroScreen score above the 80th percentile; or,
    • They are in a census tract that the federal Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool identifies as disadvantaged.
  • Tribal lands: The Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Reservations.
  • Mobile Home Communities: Areas that meet the Department of Local Affairs’ definition of a Mobile Home Park.

We updated CO EnviroScreen to align with the new definition. Here are the updates we made to the tool:

  • Colorado EnviroScreen has a new layer to show the areas that meet the updated definition
  • A separate layer shows mobile home parks as they do not fit census block group boundaries. Here’s how you can access both layers.
  • Colorado EnviroScreen continues to have a layer with the "old" definition of disproportionately impacted community.  The old definition of disproportionately impacted community was used from July 2021 to May 2023. We are keeping that layer in Colorado EnviroScreen because some agencies adopted that “old” version into their regulations.
  • We also added a layer to CO EnviroScreen showing the areas that meet the definition of Disproportionately impacted community for purposes of the May 2023 Air Quality Control Commission disproportionately impacted community permitting rulemaking.
  • The CO EnviroScreen data download now includes data columns for the updated disproportionately impacted definition, prior disproportionately impacted definition, and the Air Quality Control Commission Reg. 3 definitions. The data are available for download here, and the field key is available here.

On January 23, 2023, we updated the Disproportionately Impacted Community layer to include block groups that meet the cumulative impacts component of the definition of Disproportionately Impacted Community in the Environmental Justice Act.  Based on the recommendations from the Environmental Justice Action Task Force, these are census block groups that have an EnviroScreen Percentile Score above 80. This added 79 block groups to the DI Community layer.
An archived version of the DI community layer is available upon request.  Please note that if you are accessing the Disproportionately Impacted Community layer as part of a regulatory requirement adopted prior to January 2023, you should review the specific requirement to determine whether it includes areas that meet the cumulative impacts prong of the definition, or whether the regulation only includes areas the meet the demographic prong of the definition. Areas that meet the demographic component of the definition are still displayed in Colorado EnviroScreen, so you can still use the current version of the tool to identify these areas.  Just make sure you note whether the census block group meets the definition of DI Community under one of the demographic factors or under the cumulative impacts prong.

On August 31, 2022, we corrected a bug that caused 6 census block groups that meet the definition of disproportionately impacted community to display as not meeting the definition in the data table within EnviroScreen.  These block groups are now correctly displayed in all COEnviroScreen data.  Note that prior to the bug fix, these census block groups did correctly display as disproportionately impacted communities on the DI Community Data Viewer, Climate Equity Data Viewer, and in the DRAFT Disproportionately Impacted Community GIS layer available for download on CDPHE's Open Data page. The bug only existed within Colorado EnviroScreen, data downloaded directly from Colorado EnviroScreen and CDPHE Open Data GIS block group level EnviroScreen data.

If you accessed disproportionately impacted community data from Colorado EnviroScreen for any of these census block groups prior to August 31, 2022, please re-download the data:

080350141104 in Douglas County
080410044021 in El Paso County
080439802001 and 080439803001 in Fremont County
080690010082 in Larimer County
081010003001 in Pueblo County