Social Movements Influencing Environmental Justice

EPA Grant Number: U914975
Title: Social Movements Influencing Environmental Justice
Investigators: Hobson, Jeffrey O.
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through July 22, 1997
Project Amount: $68,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Studies , Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice


The objectives of this research project are to: (1) determine how social movements can influence decision-making processes to promote environmental justice; and (2) examine the strategies citizen groups have used to press local environmental concerns. I am considering two specific issues—air quality and public transit in urban metropolitan areas and hazardous waste facilities such as generators, processors, and disposal sites. I have chosen these issues because both are of immediate topical interest in the San Francisco Bay area, involve poor/minority communities, and have a history of public involvement.


Existing research has demonstrated that poor and minority urban communities bear more than their share of hazardous waste facilities or transportation-related air pollution, and have less access to mitigating resources such as health care and public transit. This distribution is largely because of poverty and a lack of political empowerment. I am interested in determining where grassroots groups can push their own concerns and advance a broader environmental agenda. The interdisciplinary program that I have outlined will allow me to analyze where those advocates might best put their efforts to mitigate local environmental impacts. If they are successful, the entire environmental movement will benefit from the added public commitment to environmental goals.

Supplemental Keywords:

fellowship, social movements, decision-making processes, air quality, waste facilities, San Francisco Bay, citizen groups, air quality, urban issues., RFA, Economic, Social, & Behavioral Science Research Program, Scientific Discipline, environmental justice, Social Science, community outreach, intervention strategies, hazardous waste siting decisions, environmental justice assessment, community based intervention, urban environmental exposure, social movements impact, air quality

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • Final