- The University of Maryland’s School of Public Health recently issued a scorecard that measures state agency efforts to protect the environment and which agencies are most likely to suffer from environmental racism.
- Schools evaluated nine institutions using five different criteria.
- Maryland’s Department of Environment and Department of Natural Resources received passing grades.
Most of Maryland’s state agencies have failed the new Environmental Scorecard.
The Center for Community Engagement, Environmental Justice, and Health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health recently issued an environmental justice “scorecard” that assesses the environmental protection efforts of nine state agencies.
The Scorecard also analyzed the agency’s efforts to prioritize communities most affected by environmental racism when determining departmental grades.
Five factors scorecarders used to rank agencies, including whether they have an environmental justice office, future environmental commitments, and active environmental justice activity from past policies. I had a category.
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The remaining two indicators were whether government agencies prioritize people affected by environmental racism and existing resources for building environmental literacy.
Of the nine institutions surveyed, six received an “F” rating on the 2019 Policies and Practices Scorecard. The scorecard provides his 3-step rating for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
The top-grade agencies that earned a C that year were the Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Department of the Environment.
The Maryland Public Service Commission came close to passing grades that year, but earned a D on the scorecard.
Both of these agencies have reached B status in 2020 with improved letter grades. Meanwhile, the rest of the agencies received the same scores as the previous year.
Last year, three agencies showed modest improvement. Maryland’s Department of Planning, Transportation, and Health received an ‘F’ to ‘D’ rating.
The Environment Division, Natural Resources Division, and Public Interest Commission performed the same as last year.
Scorecard authors consulted publicly available data and later contacted agencies about their scores and received additional material. In some cases, we modified the scores accordingly.
A spokeswoman for the Maryland Public Service Commission told Changing America that she didn’t know the scorecard was being reviewed until last year.
Once the agency learned about the scorecard, PSC members sought to meet Dr. Sakoby Wilson, a professor of applied environmental health at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and his assistants to discuss environmental justice considerations at the agency.
A spokesperson for the Maryland Department of the Environment told Changing America that the agency has spent the past two years partnering with universities to reach out to low-income communities and communities of color most impacted by climate change. said that he is doing
“MDE’s EJ Policy and Implementation Plan uses MDE’s new EJ screening tools to support compliance, permitting and outreach/engagement,” said an MDE spokesperson. “Government agencies, through oversight and engagement with federal partners and the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities, will continue to seek new ideas to improve fairness and justice as we carry out our mission at the University of Maryland. Check your scorecard.”