Environmental justice score difference data intersected with redlining maps: Richmond, Virginia

Published: 26 July 2022| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/253t298rrc.1
Anmol Mital


Historical redlining discouraged investment in low-income and Black neighborhoods through racially-based residential security maps, making it difficult for these groups to build generational wealth. Further, historically redlined communities experience worse health and environmental outcomes than non-redlined communities. We hypothesized that the change in environmental justice (EJ) indices from 2015 to 2021 is significantly different between historically redlined and non-redlined communities in Richmond, Virginia. We also examined if a disparity in EJ scores still exists between Richmond’s historically redlined and non-redlined communities in 2021. Particulate Matter 2.5 Concentration (PM2.5), Ozone Concentration, and Wastewater Discharge Levels were assessed at the Census Block Group level and retrieved from the EPA’s EJSCREEN database. Our analysis showed that Wastewater Discharge EJ scores improved in historically redlined areas but worsened in non-redlined communities. However, redlined communities’ EJ scores for PM2.5 declined relative to non-redlined communities; there was no significant difference in the change of Ozone EJ scores between historically redlined and non-redlined communities. Notably, the higher 2021 EJ scores (indicating higher risk) for the above indices indicate a persistent disparity in environmental risk between redlined and non-redlined communities. Policy solutions should be explored to mitigate higher environmental risk in historically redlined communities. The CSV file attached here is all the data that was used in the analysis. Another CSV file is also included to explain the labels used. The data presented here should be cited if used in another publication.


Steps to reproduce

In creating this data, the ArcGIS Pro proprietary software was used. 2021 EJSCREEN data was joined to the 2019 Census Block Group shapefile; 2015 EJSCREEN data was joined to the 2012 Census Block Group shapefile. Then, an Intersect Overlay was used to combine the data from the HOLC polygons and joint 2021 EJSCREEN-Census data. This step was repeated for the joint 2015 EJSCREEN-Census data. Each of the intersected datasets was downloaded to Microsoft Excel (2021) through ArcGIS Pro.


Maggie L Walker Governors School for Government and International Studies


Urban Environmental Justice