Visualize this: a new, interactive map from a Brooklyn-based nonprofit could tell you whether you’re living above a toxic plume.
Showing polluted sites, waste transfer facilities, and areas susceptible to flooding, the map overlays data from government sources, helping users visualize environmental conditions in North Brooklyn.
“The real estate market and the real estate developers, they’re not going to tell people, ‘Oh you’re living on a toxic site,'” she said. “They’re not going to tell people about that because they want people to buy the real estate.”
Peeling Back the Layers
The map contains two types of layers: environmental risks and neighborhood characteristics. Users can select any combination in order to see how these components overlap and interact.
For example, selecting “Waste Transfer Stations” and “Asthma Risk” seems to show a correlation between the two, with higher rates of asthma in areas with multiple stations.
Users can also see “Potentially Polluted Sites,” which compiles data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and other state and city data and studies.
This layer shows all state and federal Superfund and brownfield sites, spills (accidental releases of petroleum, toxic chemicals, gases, and other hazardous materials), and historic sites like the Meeker plume and the Exxon-Mobil spill. Additionally, users can click on any spill to get details, including what was spilled and whether it has been remediated.
Finally, users can explore the projected flood plains for the year 2020, based on data from the New York Panel on Climate Change.