Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

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

be considered for inclusion in any future research. For example, the state- fiscal-capacity and environmental-interests measures showed their utility across all three levels of analysis and for many of the toxic-pollutant measures. Future researchers should include these measures when studying this form of pollution. Furthermore, controls for such regions as the Sunbelt and the West, in the form of conditional terms, were also important. Land area-- with regard to county-level analysis--should also be considered when studying environmental injustice, and the form of city government should, of necessity, be taken into account when pursuing the inquiry at the city level of analysis. Still, measures such as state business climate, legislative professionalism, and public opinion and political culture either performed poorly or in a manner inconsistent with our initial hypotheses. Thus, future researchers may need to reformulate the arguments associated with these concepts or dispense with them altogether when studying environmental injustice.


Conclusion

The major conclusions from the state-, county-, and city-level analyses can provide meaningful guidance for policy formulation in this area. In general, the results from the three levels of analysis provided almost no support for the political-mobilization hypothesis. This measure evidenced support for the hypothesized relationship in only one instance: county toxic fugitive air releases. In two other instances, the relationship was other than hypothesized, and in all other instances of the state-, county-, and city-level analyses no relationship was evident for political mobilization, as it has been measured in this research, and the other environmental harms studied. Thus, we see no reason to argue that enhancing political mobilization will remedy instances of environmental injustice.

The social-class findings were definitely more robust than the political- mobilization findings but less so than the race/ethnicity findings. Social class was important in the county- and city-level findings on the Hispanic population. However, this concept's utility was useful only in conjunction with the city-level findings for the black population. Possibly, policy design needs to be concerned with aspects of social class only when dealing with the Hispanic population in substate areas and with the black population within U.S. cities.

Finally, the findings from the state-, county-, and city-level analyses do point to incidences of environmental injustice for black and Hispanic Americans. Both scattered and uniform findings were evident for these two groups at the state, county, and city levels. These findings will guide our analyses of existing policies and our formulation of alternative policy recommendations in the remainder of this book. Specifically, Chapter 9 will re-

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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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