Environmental Justice Assessment of Industrial Pork Production in Mississippi and North CarolinaEPA Grant Number: U915808
Title: Environmental Justice Assessment of Industrial Pork Production in Mississippi and North Carolina
Investigators: Wilson, Sacoby M.
Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: July 1, 2000 through July 1, 2003
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2000) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Sciences , Academic Fellowships , Economics and Decision Sciences
The objective of this research project is to examine environmental injustice and the Mississippi swine industry. It will include an examination of the siting patterns of large hog farms in Mississippi and North Carolina for the last decade to assess the growth and development of the hog industry. This study also will compare the presence of any distributional inequities in the location of industrial hog facilities in Mississippi and North Carolina and assess the risk to neighboring communities.
The first step is to spatially examine the location of the industrial swine operations at the block group level using geographic information system (GIS) in the two states. Maps will be created that show the location of the industrial swine operations in proximity to different levels (quintiles) of three primary socioeconomic variables: percent African-American, percent people in poverty, and percent high school graduates. Secondly, a model will be developed that will use land use parameters and socioeconomic data to extrapolate the growth of the Mississippi swine industry based upon a growth analysis of the North Carolina swine industry. Furthermore, cross-classification analysis will be used to assess the relationships between siting factors-such as cost of land, zoning laws, and economic growth trends-and the demographic makeup of host communities. Finally, the data will be incorporated into a model that will assess the environmental and human health risk to communities that are located in close proximity to the large hog operations in both states.
There are large numbers of industrial swine operations that may pose a risk to the health and quality of life of these communities if the industry continues to grow at its current pace. This study intends to evaluate this situation as one of the major and emerging environmental justice problems in the south.