The state EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has an online mapping tool that allows Californians to see a detailed report card for the places they frequent. A "pollution burden score," which is based on 11 environmental-quality measurements, is combined with demographic indicators such as asthma, poverty and low-birth-weight rates to determine "CalEnviroScreen" results. Each census ZIP code (not always identical to a postal ZIP code) gets a score, so based on that, here are Orange County's five best places.
5) Crystal Cove
(census zip code 92625)
The lower one scores, the better. The coastal area straddling Newport Beach and Laguna Beach gets good marks for (lack of) asthma, pesticides and poverty while finishing fairly middling in traffic, diesel emissions and low-birth-weight rates. Impaired water bodies are a concern. Pollution Burden Score: 3.10. CalEnviroScreen Score: 7.75.
|Flickr user CTNelson|
4) Newport Beach
(census zip code 92662)
The northern part of the city extending to the Huntington Beach border and Costa Mesa to the east comes up with goose eggs when it comes to threats to groundwater and threats from pesticides and solid waste. High impaired water bodies refers to the beaches fed by Santa Ana River outfall. Pollution Burden Score: 3.10. CalEnviroScreen Score: 7.13.
|Flickr user Ben|