Abstract Environmental justice is a public policy goal of ensuring that the adverse human health or environmental effects of government activities do not fall disproportionately upon minority populations or low-income populations. This article presents a practical approach to measure the extent to which the air quality or noise consequences of a transportation system change would disproportionately affect those populations. The approach applies a geographic information system (GIS) to blend U.S. Census data with the results from emission and dispersion models of vehicle-generated pollutants, and from noise propagation models. Air pollution and noise contours can thus be overlaid upon data representing race and income levels, to discern whether disproportionate effects would occur.
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