Let’s make thoughtful decisions, together.

Even with Wisconsin’s overall excellent quality of life, some of our communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution, a changing climate, socioeconomic factors, and other environmental and health hazards. WEDC is working with public sector and statewide community partners to change that by collaborating on the Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET).

The WEET online tool will combine, analyze, and visualize data, so government and tribal agencies, policy makers, communities, community-based organizations, and stakeholders can:

  • Better understand areas of environmental, public health, and climate vulnerability
  • Inform policy and program planning and focus local and state programs and policies to advance environmental equity
  • Prioritize funding for investment and interventions
  • Build community awareness and education campaigns
  • Conduct community health assessments
  • Write data-driven grant proposals
  • Strengthen community organizing efforts
  • And more

Organized By:

Wisconsin department of administration logo
Wisconsin natural resources logo

The WEET Ad Hoc Advisory Committee

As part of the WEET project’s community engagement strategy, our Volunteer Advisory Committee will provide the expertise and lived experience of diverse Wisconsinites to inform the project.

We want to hear from you.

To be effective, WEET needs to be informed by your real-world experiences—especially if you are part of a community of color, a low-income community, a rural community, a tribal nation, or an immigrant community. We want to hear about your successes, challenges, and needs, as well as what you hope to see in the new tool. Please watch our calendar for the next Ad Hoc Advisory Committee meeting to listen in and send written comments or questions to EnvEquity@wedc.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which agencies are partnering to develop WEET?

The primary Wisconsin state agencies leading the development of WEET include:

  • Department of Administration (DOA)
  • Department of Health Services (DHS)
  • Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)

The project team will invite additional partners to join a project advisory committee to seek ongoing advice and recommendations from a wide range of community members and professionals.

What types of data may be used to inform the WEET tool?

The following categories of Wisconsin data currently available through state and federal databases may be included in WEET if they meet data quality and compatibility standards.

Population data:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Low birth-weight infants
  • Asthma emergency room visits
  • Poverty
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Isolation of non-English speakers due to language barriers
  • Level of education
  • Unemployment
  • Housing burden
  • Transportation expense
  • Health insurance
  • Tribal land

Environment category:

  • Risk Management Plan Sites
  • Proximity to National Priority List contaminated sites (known as Superfund sites)
  • Proximity to facilities that store, treat, transport, or dispose of hazardous waste
  • Impaired water bodies
  • Solid waste sites and facilities (landfills, etc.)
  • Ozone concentrations in the air
  • Particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations in the air
  • Diesel air emissions
  • Traffic density/proximity
  • National assessment that estimates cancer and noncancer risks from breathing air toxics (NATA)
  • Wastewater discharges
  • Childhood lead poisoning
  • Public drinking water index
  • Pesticide use
  • Respiratory hazard index

Climate change category:

  • Social Vulnerability Index – housing type and transportation index
  • Average percent of developed surfaces that cannot absorb water
  • Proximity to flood zones
  • Tree canopy

What are some examples of other environmental equity screening and mapping tools?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the states of Washington, California, and Maryland use the most comprehensive approaches to environmental justice screening, taking into consideration disproportionate cumulative impacts and the reality that communities of color, low-income communities, rural communities, tribal nations, and other indigenous communities are often burdened with multiple environmental problems that also impact people’s health.

Here are links to select environmental justice screening and mapping tools:

Current WEET Ad Hoc Committee Members

Huda Alkaff
Wisconsin Green Muslims

Roxie Anderson
Monroe County Climate Task Force and land use planner

Elaina Andreychak
DHS epidemiologist

Marie Barry
Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

Pamela Boivin
Executive Director of NiiCaP, Blue Ribbon Commission member

Cristina Carvajal
Wisconsin EcoLatinos

Megan Christenson
DHS epidemiologist

Gary Garske
Portage County Environmental Health Director

Tom Kilian
Wausau City Council member, founding member of Citizens for a Clean Wausau

Sarah Lerner
City of Madison-GIS

Jim Paine
Mayor of Superior

Noah Saperstein
Environmental Justice Specialist, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Ed Boswell
UW-Madison Dept of Planning and Landscape Architecture

Adele Nance
Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations for Hope, transportation task force