Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

By James P. Lester; David W. Allen et al. | Go to book overview

2
Environmental Injustice Research: Reviewing the Evidence

The literature on environmental justice has been organized by some authors ( Allen, Lester, and Hill, 1995; Cutter, 1994) under four headings, including: early descriptive literature (primarily case studies); normative and/or prescriptive studies; reviews and critiques of existing work; and data-based, quantitative studies. What follows is a review and critique of this literature. 1


Early Descriptive Literature

This literature outlines the environmental justice movement's origins and also illustrates, primarily through case studies, a relationship between environmental disparities of various types, communities of color, and/or low- income communities. The earliest pieces focused on a dispute in Afton, North Carolina, over the siting of a soil dump contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a largely African American community. Afton's population was more than 84 percent African American at the time; Afton is in Warren County, which in turn had the highest percentage of African Americans in North Carolina and was one of the state's poorest ( Beasley, 1990a, 1990b; Bullard 1990a, 1990b, 1993a, 1994a; Carroll, 1991; Colquette and Robertson, 1991; Coyle, 1992; Geiser and Waneck, 1983; Hurley, 1988; MacLean, 1993; Maraniss and Weisskopf, 1987; Meyer, 1992; Spears, 1993; White, 1992). Other cases studies of Texarkana, Arkansas, Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, and Buffalo also serve to exemplify environmental injustice as it applies to minorites ( Attah, 1992; Boerner and Lambert, 1995; Burke, 1993; Jetter, 1993; Krieg, 1995, 1998; Lee, 1993; Mann, 1991; Szasz, et al., 1992). Questions have also been raised regarding inequitable siting of lo

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Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Dedications v
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Introduction the Nature of the Problem 1
  • Notes 7
  • 2 - Environmental Injustice Research: Reviewing the Evidence 9
  • Notes 18
  • 3 - Environmental Justice: Getting on the Public Agenda 21
  • Summary and Conclusions 51
  • Notes 52
  • 4 - Modeling Environmental Injustice: Concepts, Measures, Hypotheses, and Method of Analysis 57
  • Summary 73
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - Environmental Injustice in America's States 79
  • Notes 106
  • 6 - Environmental Injustice in America's Counties 113
  • Conclusion 129
  • Notes 131
  • 7 - Environmental Injustice in America's Cities 133
  • Conclusion 144
  • Notes 147
  • 8 - Summary and Conclusions from the Multilevel Analyses 149
  • Conclusion 156
  • Note 157
  • 9 - Existing Federal and State Policies for Environmental Justice: Problems and Prospects 159
  • Summary and Conclusion 171
  • Summary and Conclusion 171
  • 10 - Designing an Effective Policy for Environmental Justice: Implications and Recommendations 173
  • Conclusion 187
  • Notes 188
  • References 189
  • About the Authors 203
  • Index 205
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