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Maps to Support the Disadvantaged

Communities Investment Guidelines

Senate Bill 535 (De León, Chapter 830, Statutes of 2012) directs State and local agencies to make significant investments that improve California’s most vulnerable communities.

Maps for Evaluating Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities
(SB 535 Disadvantaged Communities per CalEnviroScreen 2.0)

Volume II of the Funding Guidelines for Agencies that Administer California Climate Investments (Funding Guidelines) provides criteria that an administering agency must use to determine if a project provides a benefit to disadvantaged communities.

Below are maps that can be used to apply the geographic criteria from Appendix 2.A of the Funding Guidelines. These maps show the following areas:

  • Census tracts that have been identified by CalEPA as disadvantaged communities.
  • Half-mile zones around these disadvantaged community census tracts (applicable to some projects in the low carbon transportation, transit, affordable housing and sustainable communities, land preservation and restoration, and urban forestry and urban greening categories). 
  • Zip codes containing disadvantaged community census tracts (applicable to some projects in low carbon transportation and transit categories).

Disadvantaged Community Census Tracts (DACs)

The top 25% of cumulative CalEnviroScreen 2.0 scores.

Half-Mile Zones around CES 2.0 DACs

Buffer zones showing the boundary of areas located within one half-mile of a disadvantaged community.

ZIP Codes containing CES 2.0 DACs

Highlighted zip codes contain all or part of a disadvantaged community.

Note: Refer to Appendix 2.A of the Funding Guidelines to apply these maps to specific GGRF project investments.

Mapping Data Files

Below are files that can be used to apply the geographic criteria from Appendix 2.A of the Funding Guidelines.

  • Excel file containing the List of ZIP codes that contain all or part of a disadvantaged community.
  • ArcGIS Geodatabase containing the half-mile buffer zones and ZIP codes.

State Agency Roles for Implementing SB 535

Implementing the provisions of SB 535 is a multi-agency effort among the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), and the Air Resources Board (ARB).

Role Identify disadvantaged communities for the purpose of investing auction proceeds. Develop a screening methodology that can be used to identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution. Provide guidance to agencies appropriated auction proceeds on what is considered a benefit to a disadvantaged community and how to maximize those benefits.
Status In October 2014, CalEPA identified disadvantaged communities as those in the top 25th percentile of cumulative CalEnviroScreen scores.  More information can be found on CalEPA website.
OEHHA has developed CalEnviroScreen 2.0, a tool that assesses California census tracts.  The screening tool and maps are available on the OEHHA website. In 2015, ARB released the Funding Guidelines containing guidance on how to determine whether projects provide benefits to disadvantaged communities and how to maximize those benefits. 

Additional Resources

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For questions, please contact:
Charanya Varadarajan, Manager, at 916-322-1223 or via email