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5/2/20151 Environmental Justice Evidence Douglas Clayton Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "5/2/20151 Environmental Justice Evidence Douglas Clayton Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 5/2/20151 Environmental Justice Evidence Douglas Clayton Smith

2 Environmental Justice Fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no group of people, including racial, ethnic or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, municipal and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local and tribal policies. 2

3 5/2/ types of solid waste There are three types of solid waste that people might be differentially exposed to: There are three types of solid waste that people might be differentially exposed to: Dumps and Sanitary Landfills Dumps and Sanitary Landfills Hazardous Waste Facilities – facilities that store, transport, or dispose of hazardous waste Hazardous Waste Facilities – facilities that store, transport, or dispose of hazardous waste Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste sites – deposits of improperly disposed of waste Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste sites – deposits of improperly disposed of waste

4 5/2/20154 Differential Solid Waste Exposure? National studies National studies GAO study examined % minority living within 1 mile of landfills with % minority living within county. Neither minorities nor poor were over- represented. GAO study examined % minority living within 1 mile of landfills with % minority living within county. Neither minorities nor poor were over- represented. Local or Regional studies Local or Regional studies Houston study finds 8 of 9 landfills in neighborhoods with high % of minorities. Houston study finds 8 of 9 landfills in neighborhoods with high % of minorities. NC study finds block groups with 50% minorities are 2.8 times more likely to have a facility than block groups with <10% minorities. NC study finds block groups with 50% minorities are 2.8 times more likely to have a facility than block groups with <10% minorities.

5 5/2/20155 Differential Exposure to Hazardous Waste Facilities (HWFs)? National studies National studies UCC Commission on Racial Justice found ZIP codes with HWFs had an average of 24% minority pop while ZIP codes without HWFs had an average of 12% minority pop. UCC Commission on Racial Justice found ZIP codes with HWFs had an average of 24% minority pop while ZIP codes without HWFs had an average of 12% minority pop. A restudy using census tract found no significant racial differences between tracts with and without HWFs. However, tracts with facilities appear to be in industrial districts which are surrounded by working class neighborhoods that are disproportionately minority and poor. A restudy using census tract found no significant racial differences between tracts with and without HWFs. However, tracts with facilities appear to be in industrial districts which are surrounded by working class neighborhoods that are disproportionately minority and poor. Bulls-eye pattern Bulls-eye pattern

6 5/2/20156 Differential Exposure to Hazardous Waste Facilities (HWFs)? National studies National studies GAO study of neighborhoods surrounding the 4 largest HWFs in the South. Three of the four were found to have significantly higher percentages of minorities living nearby. GAO study of neighborhoods surrounding the 4 largest HWFs in the South. Three of the four were found to have significantly higher percentages of minorities living nearby.

7 5/2/20157 Differential Exposure to Hazardous Waste Facilities (HWFs)? National Studies National Studies Superfund chemical releases Superfund chemical releases Allows sociologists to look at places that are releasing pollution and those that are not. Allows sociologists to look at places that are releasing pollution and those that are not. –Limitations: 300 substances “defined” as hazardous 300 substances “defined” as hazardous Only a fraction of facilities producing hazardous wastes have to report Only a fraction of facilities producing hazardous wastes have to report Emissions are self-reported and compliance is low Emissions are self-reported and compliance is low

8 5/2/20158 Differential Exposure to Hazardous Waste Facilities (HWFs)? Superfund chemical releases (continued). Superfund chemical releases (continued). Florida study. Florida study. –Nonracial attributes of people and property are most important factors in determining whether one lives near a facility. However, blacks were still slightly more likely to live within a mile controlling for other factors. Pittsburgh study. Pittsburgh study. –Examined 5 categories: (all black, all poor, poor blacks, poor whites, and elderly) –All 5 higher risk of exposure. Elderly were most exposed.

9 5/2/20159 Differential Exposure to Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste? In 1985, an estimated 378,000 sites existed. In 1985, an estimated 378,000 sites existed. Studies done on Superfund National Priority List sites. Studies done on Superfund National Priority List sites. They may be on this list because they are dangerous or because of political pressure. They may be on this list because they are dangerous or because of political pressure.

10 5/2/ Differential Exposure to Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste? National Studies National Studies 2 studies of the 800 Superfund sites 2 studies of the 800 Superfund sites These studies agreed that Superfund sites were more likely to be in higher % minority counties controlling for other factors. These studies agreed that Superfund sites were more likely to be in higher % minority counties controlling for other factors. One study suggested this was due to high minority pop in a few cities with many sites. One study suggested this was due to high minority pop in a few cities with many sites. They disagree on the relationship of exposure and poverty They disagree on the relationship of exposure and poverty

11 5/2/ Differential Exposure to Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste? Local studies Local studies Boston Boston Older area of Boston show race highly related to the number of Superfund sites. Older area of Boston show race highly related to the number of Superfund sites. Newer areas of Boston show class (education and household income) to be important. Newer areas of Boston show class (education and household income) to be important.

12 5/2/ The Upshot? There may be evidence to support the proposition that African-Americans are disproportionately represented around landfills, Superfund cleanup sites in older urban areas, and perhaps facilities emitting toxic substances. There may be evidence to support the proposition that African-Americans are disproportionately represented around landfills, Superfund cleanup sites in older urban areas, and perhaps facilities emitting toxic substances.

13 5/2/ Is this environmental racism? As of 1995, several lawsuits have challenged disposal facility siting decisions based on charges of racism. All had been dismissed for failure to prove discriminatory intent. As of 1995, several lawsuits have challenged disposal facility siting decisions based on charges of racism. All had been dismissed for failure to prove discriminatory intent.

14 Still… In 1994 President Clinton signed Executive Order requiring that the U.S. EPA and other federal agencies implement environmental justice policies. These policies were to specifically address the disproportionate environmental effects of federal programs and policies on minority and low-income populations. In 1994 President Clinton signed Executive Order requiring that the U.S. EPA and other federal agencies implement environmental justice policies. These policies were to specifically address the disproportionate environmental effects of federal programs and policies on minority and low-income populations. 5/2/201514

15 However… Findings suggest that despite environmental justice legislation, Superfund site listings in minority and poor areas are even less likely for sites discovered since the 1994 Executive Order. The results of this 2007 study indicate that Executive Order for environmental justice has not increased the equitability of the Superfund program. Findings suggest that despite environmental justice legislation, Superfund site listings in minority and poor areas are even less likely for sites discovered since the 1994 Executive Order. The results of this 2007 study indicate that Executive Order for environmental justice has not increased the equitability of the Superfund program. 5/2/201515

16 Other points to ponder Are there other hazards that might disproportionately be placed on minorities or the poor? Are there other hazards that might disproportionately be placed on minorities or the poor? Location of CAFOs Location of CAFOs Noise pollution Noise pollution Do companies run dirtier in poorer areas? Do companies run dirtier in poorer areas? 5/2/201516


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