Environmental Injustice in the United States: Myths and Realities

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

Finally, state legislation could be enacted to address potential problems of environmental injustice, but this legislation needs to carefully consider the exact nature of the problem in a specific geographic area before the policies are finally designed. In other words, it is essential that the driving force behind legislation be addressed and carefully considered so that the remedy is based on an understanding of the problem and that the policy that is delivered is both equitable and efficient. This legislation could potentially be based on race, class, or politics as the driving force; alternatively, it could be based on the severity of the health risks presented by various toxins.

In Chapter 10, we return to precisely this point and base our policy recommendations on a rational understanding of the problem as well as the utilization of equity and efficiency as key criteria for evaluating the most desirable policy.


Summary and Conclusion

In this chapter, we have discussed federal and state initiatives in the area of environmental justice and identified some of the potential problems therein. In Chapter 10, we suggest several alternative policy designs for both the federal government and the states to consider and evaluate as they design legislation to remedy this public policy problem. In doing so, we offer a policy recommendation to decisionmakers based on our analyses in Chapters 5-7, as well as the analyses of other scholars who have preceded us.


Notes
1.
The following list of legislative actions was adopted from Sexton and Zimmerman ( 1999), the National Conference of State Legislatures ( 1995), and contacts established by the authors over the duration of the project.
2.
Progressive states are California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin.
3.
Struggler states are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
4.
Delayer states are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
5.
Regressive states are Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

-171-

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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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