Presentation on theme: "Some More Polluted than Others: Unequal Cumulative Industrial Hazard Burdens in the Philadelphia MSA, USA (forthcoming in Local Environment) Diane M. Sicotte,"— Presentation transcript:
Some More Polluted than Others: Unequal Cumulative Industrial Hazard Burdens in the Philadelphia MSA, USA (forthcoming in Local Environment) Diane M. Sicotte, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Sociology Drexel University
Research Questions: 1.Considering all state- and federally-regulated environmental hazards (factories, hazardous waste, power plants, incinerators and sewage), do some communities in the Philadelphia area bear an inequitable burden of environmental hazards? 2.If inequalities exist, how extensive are they? 3.Which social characteristics put communities more (or less) at risk of extensive burdening?
Study Area: Philadelphia MSA 369 Communities (357 townships, boroughs & cities; 12 Phila Planning Analysis Areas)
Methods With ArcView, map all hazardous sites, assigning points value to each. Add together all points for each community. Define “extensively burdened communities” as those with more hazard points than 90% of communities in the Philadelphia MSA. Calculate risk of being extensively burdened by each community characteristic.
Hazard Scores Points for rating severity of each type of hazardous facility or site State-regulated abandoned contaminated waste site5 U.S. EPA Superfund site (not on NPL)5 U.S. EPA Superfund NPL site25 Large power plant—top five polluter (statewide)25 Small power plant10 Proposed power plant5 TRI industrial facility5 Commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility5 Municipal incinerator20 Demolition landfill3 Large sewage treatment plant or sludge management facility5 Municipal solid waste landfill5 Waste tire pile5 Trash transfer station5
Characteristics that increase or decrease risk of being extensively burdened: Bordering the Delaware Percent RISK Extensively Risk Ratio Burdened (95% CI) Community Borders Delaware River44.447.58 (4.39 – 13.07)
Chester ranks 7 th of the 38 most extensively burdened communities in the Philadelphia MSA Philadelphia MSA CommunityBordering Delaware River? Total Hazard Points Percent White Median Household Income Camden City (NJ)Yes2707.49$23,421 Falls Township (PA)Yes21089.29$50,129 Pennsauken Township (NJ)Yes20855.91$47,538 Bridesburg-Kensington-Richmond, Philadelphia (PA) Yes20064.82$22,500 West Deptford Township (NJ)Yes18590.99$50,583 Franklin Township (NJ)No18588.34$55,169 Upper Merion Township (PA)No13588.28$65,636 Near Northeast, Philadelphia (PA)Yes13575.37$34,310 South Philadelphia (PA)Yes13551.87$24,500 Bristol Township (PA)Yes11083.90$48,090 Chester City (PA)Yes11017.78$25,703
Chester bears a disproportionate burden of 2 types of hazards Philadelphia MSA Community Hazardous Waste Points (% of 4,400) Power Plant Points (% of 320) Industrial Facilities Points (% of 2,679) Waste Points (% of 428) Chester City (PA)15 (0.3%)30 (9.4%)40 (1.5%)5 (5.8%) Chester City alone bears 9.4% of the Power Plant Points and 5.8% of the Waste Points for the entire nine-county Philadelphia MSA.
Answers to Research Questions: 1.Considering all state- and federally-regulated environmental hazards (factories, hazardous waste, power plants, incinerators and sewage), do some communities in the Philadelphia area bear an inequitable burden of environmental hazards? Yes. 2. If inequalities exist, how extensive are they? They are extensive, striking and significant. 3. Which social characteristics put communities more (or less) at risk of extensive burdening? Location near the Delaware River; minority populations of more than 3%; anything below the highest Median Household Income; high proportions of vacant homes and high-school dropouts.
How did all of this come about? Future research: a historical study of the development of industry, the politics of power generation and waste disposal, and residential segregation in the Philadelphia MSA.