Environmental Injustice in America's Counties
This chapter examines the environmental injustice thesis within the context of U.S. counties. We begin this chapter by specifying our dependent variables for this level of analysis. Then, after a brief recapitulation of the model established in Chapter 4 and a discussion of the sample, we present our results, first in the form of a simple tripartite model that includes race, class, and political mobilization, and second in the form of a longer reduced equation using all of our additional measures in addition to the race/class/mobilization measures.
Because of the toxic pollutant-related findings in Chapter 5 regarding the linkage between race/ethnicity and toxic environmental hazards, we decided to shift our inquiry to toxic hazards for subsequent sections of our analysis. Using data from the Toxic Release Inventory, we constructed three measures at the county level: global toxic releases to air, land, and water, stack air toxic releases, and fugitive air toxic releases. All data for the county level analysis were extracted from the 1995 Toxic Release Inventory and is coded in thousands of pounds of toxins released.
Before we proceed, some comments need to be made about the use of TRI data. Other research has worked with this particular hazard ( Bowen, et al., 1995; Burke, 1993; Cutter, 1994; Downey, 1998; Gould, 1986; Krieg, 1998; Lester and Allen, 1996; Perlin, et al., 1995; Polloch and Vittas, 1995; Ringquist, 1997; Szasz, et al., 1992). However, some of these articles only looked at the number of toxic release facilities in relation to race and did not measure the actual level of toxic emissions ( Burke, 1993; Cutter, 1994; Perlin, et al., 1995; Polloch and Vittas, 1995). Additionally, some findings on