Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

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

ion--shows a negative relationship with both measures of air pollution, a finding that is contrary to our initial hypothesis. Furthermore, Tables 7.4 and 7.5 provide scant support for our form-of-government hypotheses: Only in the percent black analysis is one form of city government--the council-manager arrangement--related in hypothesized fashion to air pollution.

The effects of state-level measures produce scattered and inconsistent results. State-level environmental interests are related, in hypothesized fashion, only to fugitive air TRI releases in the percent Hispanic analysis. Legislative professionalism, in the percent black analysis of stack air TRI releases, does diminish this form of air pollution; partisanship, in the same equation, is related to stack air TRI releases in the hypothesized fashion.


Lead TRI Releases

Table 7.6 arrays the results of our analysis of lead TRI releases to the environment in U.S. cities. Once again, columns 1 and 2 contain the full and reduced equations for the percent black population; columns 3 and 4 array similar equations for the percent Hispanic population.

Table 7.6 confirms the existence of a race-based inequity for the percent black population: Cities with large black populations have higher levels of lead TRI releases. Yet the relationship between the Hispanic population and lead TRI releases is opposite to the initial hypothesis. Once again, however, Table 7.6 does reveal class-based inequities with regard to TRI releases, and both the percent black and percent Hispanic analyses reveal no support for the political-mobilization hypothesis. Furthermore, the pollution potential measure performs as anticipated; however, the mayor-council form of government in the percent black equation is related to lead TRI releases in a fashion contrary to the initial hypothesis.

Our state-level measures provide sparse and, in one instance, contradictory results. Both the state-level environmental interests and partisanship measures are related, in hypothesized fashion, to lead TRI releases. However, in the percent Hispanic equation, the moralistic culture measure is related to lead TRI releases in a fashion that is contrary to the initial hypothesis.


Conclusion

This chapter has assessed race, class, and political mobilization explanations for 1993 toxic-release measures in 79-84 percent of U.S. cities with populations in excess of 50,000 people. We began the analysis with a simple three- concept model and then tested the three concepts in competition with other well-known explanations for environmental hazards. Our simple tripartite model produced some interesting results. For the percent black equation (Table 7.1), we found evidence to confirm race-based environmental injustice in all four instances. Yet the simple equations that focused on the Hispanic population (Table 7.2) did not produce any evidence to confirm race-

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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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