Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

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

7
Environmental Injustice in America's Cities

In Chapter 4, we outlined out explanatory concepts, their measures, the hypotheses we would test, and our method of analysis. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the environmental injustice thesis at the level of U.S. cities. We begin by articulating the environmental hazards we plan to study.


Environmental Harms: The Dependent Variables at the City Level

As noted in our county-level analysis, we have made a conscious decision to study toxic hazards at the substate level. The data from the TRI also allows us to focus on a specific finding from our state-level analysis as well. In the state-level analysis, we found a strong positive relationship between the percent black population in a state and the level of toxic waste present in a state. Similar findings were replicated in our county-level analysis. Furthermore, toxic waste has also been subjected to study in the literature ( Allen, 2001; Allen, Lester, and Hill, 1995; Bowen, et al., 1995; Burke, 1993; Cutter, 1994; Davies, 1972; Gould, 1986; Krieg, 1998; Lester, Allen, and Lauer, 1994; Lester and Allen, 1996; Polloch and Vittas, 1995; Ringquist, 1997). We abstracted four measures from the 1993 Toxic Release Inventory: total TRI released to the environment, TRI released through fugitive and stack air, and lead TRI released to air, land, and water.

The reader will notice different measures for total TRI releases between our county-level analysis in Chapter 6 and the measures employed in this chapter. We are using the additive total TRI Releases in U.S. cities in order to determine if different results occur if different measures of a dependent variable are employed. It should be noted that the additive version of total TRI releases is the most frequently employed measure in existing literature. Furthermore, in Chapter 6 we used data from the 1995 Toxic Release Inventory. Using 1993

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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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