A National Evaluation of Equity in Hazardous Waste Sites

EPA Grant Number: R823185
Title: A National Evaluation of Equity in Hazardous Waste Sites
Investigators: Anderton, Douglas L.
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Amherst
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: July 1, 1995 through July 1, 1997
Project Amount: $263,470
RFA: Socio-Economics (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Justice


The purpose of this project is to assess possible inequities or biases in the disproportionate siting of hazardous waste facilities in minority or poor neighborhoods. Earlier work by the investigator found no consistent evidence of such biases in the siting of commercial hazardous waste facilities (commercial TSDFs). This project has already extended these findings to Superfund (NPL) sites. The project has also surveyed all RCRA governed sites for an analysis of equity in the distribution of these facilities. Analyses of site specific biases are based upon census tract characteristics but have added to prior research in the simultaneous use of TIGER file infra-structural features (e.g., highways, ports, etc.), Dun and Bradstreet data on the distribution of related manufacturing industries, detailed RCRA survey data differentiating types of facilities (e.g., on and off-site, public-private, incinerators, landfills, etc.), and TRI data on volume of activities at sites. This research has already provided significant information regarding the extent and nature of environmental equity and has challenged policy preconceptions regarding the issues of environmental inequity. The investigators TSDF analyses have direct policy implications in determining the extent of inequities and providing guidance in the relative priorities of remediation. And, specific policy implications regarding the designation process are suggested by findings to date on NPL inequities. The RCRA analysis will, similarly, provide the first such policy relevant evaluation of possible inequities in the distribution of those facilities.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 14 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 5 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, environmental justice, Economics, decision-making, Ecology and Ecosystems, Social Science, Economics & Decision Making, hazardous environmental exposures, census tract characteristics, hazardous waste siting, Superfund sites, commercial TSDFs, environmental equity, environmental values, bias, RCRA sites, hazardous waste facilities, environmental policy, ethnicity, hazardous waste siting decisions, community based intervention, equity of distribution

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • Final Report