Our goal in this Phase II study will be to identify those tools and approaches that will be particularly relevant in analyzing the case study issues as framed, but also in the real-world context of having those issues evolve as their study progresses. It is envisioned that a variety of tools and approaches may be called upon as familiarity with the case study issue sharpens, which may be expected to lead to either different questions being raised or more detail desired on existing questions. It will further be our purpose to illustrate in the Toolkit how such typical EJT issues evolve and how the capabilities of the tools used must increase in capability correspondingly.
The following factors have been taken into consideration when seeking to identify the analytic tools that will be evaluated and used in this study:
· They should constitute a range of capabilities which are appropriate to the level and needs of the analysis. Simple methods should be available for analyses that do not require a high degree of detail and provide quick response; at the same time, more complex methods should be available to address issues of greater substance or more complex impact measures. Moreover, a desired capability of the package of tools is the ability to increase focus and detail on a particular issue as more insight is gained or as definition of the issue is refined.
· They should attempt to make maximum effective use of existing methods, databases, and organizational expertise. While key analysis questions or impact measures will not be decided solely by the current capabilities of tools and data, leverage in creative and effective use of commonly available resources will be an objective highlighted in this study.
· The tools should be capable of dealing with distributional effects: A primary consideration in environmental justice analyses is whether the incidence of a benefit or an impact falls disproportionately on one population group vs. another, or vs. the population as a whole.
· They should allow forecasting or prediction of impacts or effects in relation to a transportation system change, problem solution alternatives, or alternative long-term scenarios.
· They should offer the capability to visualize conditions or impacts in order to facilitate understanding and meaningful dialogue toward resolving the problem.
A targeted review of literature was conducted to provide insight and support for the types of analytic approaches that will be considered in addressing the issues framed by this study. In this regard, the three studies identified in the Task 2 memo once again proved to be the most relevant source documents for our review. This is primarily because of their focus on the identification of analytic tools and procedures in specific application to EJ issues. While other EJ literature may refer to analytic procedures used in conjunction with specific EJ issues (e.g., SCAG’s development of accessibility or tax burden measures), and provide insight into the practical experience of application, these core studies provide a structured synthesis of the techniques in relation to how and where they would be used, and in relation to the full range of EJ issues that are — or should be — addressed.