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Environmental Justice: Process and Inequality. Charlie Lord BC Law School Environmental Studies Program Boston College. EJ Theory Suggests Communities of Color have: . More environmental disamenities Fewer environmental amenities Less access to decision-making processes.

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environmental justice process and inequality

Environmental Justice: Process and Inequality

Charlie Lord

BC Law School

Environmental Studies Program

Boston College

ej theory suggests communities of color have
EJ Theory Suggests Communities of Color have:
  • More environmental disamenities
  • Fewer environmental amenities
  • Less access to decision-making processes
how has the environmental injustice case been presented

How has the environmental injustice case been presented?

Examination of patterns of amenities/disamenities

ma study by faber kreig
MA Study by Faber & Kreig
  • Minority communities average more than 4 x’s the number of hazardous waste sites
  • Minority communities exposed to nearly 5 x’s as many lbs. of chemicals
ma study by faber and kreig
MA Study by Faber and Kreig
  • Low income communities exposed to nearly 7 x’s as many lbs. of chemicals
  • Low income communities average nearly 2.5 x’s more waste sites and 4 x’s as many waste sites per square mile
national data
National Data
  • Robert Bullard Study: 2008
    • 2000 Census Data
      • Over 9 million people live within 3 Km of a commercial waste facility
        • These neighborhoods are 56% people of color
        • Non-host communities are 30% people of color
        • Percentage comparisons:
          • African American 1.8 times greater
          • Hispanic/Latino 2.3 times greater
          • Asian/Pacific Islander 1.8 times greater
national data1
National Data
  • Metropolitan Issue
    • Host areas are densely populated
      • 870 people/sq. km
    • 83% of sites are in metro areas (343 sites)
  • Socio-economic disparities
    • Poverty rates 1.5x higher in host areas
    • Mean household income is 15% lower
methodology critiques
Methodology Critiques
  • Definition of minority
  • Unit of analysis
  • Summary: General pattern of distributional inequity
regulatory salience critique
Regulatory Salience Critique
  • Distributive injustice alone: Not a concern
    • Absent evidence of discrimination or procedural bias
  • Post-siting market dynamics
    • Which came first: The hazard or the distribution?
  • Community Preference
    • Blais: Market in preferences works well enough to conclude that, overall, disparities are generally justified by differing preferences.
legal and political implications
Legal and Political Implications
  • Political Force
    • “Racism”: Contemporary moral strength
    • Connection to structural repression
  • Constitutional Analysis
    • Narrower
      • Purposeful conduct
      • Consciousness of race as motivating factor
      • Individual actor
  • Market critique
    • Cole and Foster
      • Accept the critique
    • Response: structural racism
      • Economic and social factors
        • Segregation in housing
        • Lack of political power
      • Distributive outcomes are unjust
  • Community Preferences
    • Kaswan
    • Similarly: Structural racism suggests community preferences are not met
  • Legal and political force measured by:
    • Distance from Individual Actor
    • Distance from race as decisional factor
      • Or at least consciousness of race as motivating factor
what s different about our study

What’s Different About Our Study?

Outcome equity vs. Process equity

process equity analysis
Process-Equity Analysis
  • Focuses on processes that create outcome inequity
    • Especially evidence of race as a known causal factor
  • Examples: hazardous waste facility/incinerator siting, court decisions, zoning maps and decisions
our hypothesis
Our Hypothesis
  • Land use processes over time situate disproportionate amount of disamenities in low income/minority communities
  • Race was a motivating factor
how are we testing this hypothesis
How are we testing this hypothesis?
  • Step 1: Gather data re “noxious use” decisions
  • Step 2: Overlay locations with race/income data
  • Step 3: Determine if patterns of inequity exist
  • Step 4: If yes, review and analyze decisional record
  • Determines where certain uses can occur
  • Allocation of Land Uses
    • As of right
    • Conditional Use
research plan
Research Plan
  • Zoning Maps
  • Conditional Use Decisions
    • 1931-1971(Presumptive right)
      • City Council
    • 1971 to present (Specified as of right/conditional)
      • City Council
      • Zoning Board of Appeals
what data have we found
What data have we found?
  • Zoning Board of Appeals Decisions
  • City Council records
  • Scale
    • Reviewed every decision 1931-present (10,000)
    • Pulled 3000 decisions for review
    • Entered 1000 records relevant to environmental disamenities
how did we categorize data
How did we categorize data?
  • Incinerators
  • Recycling facilities
  • Penal/correctional facilities
  • Garage/open parking lot
  • 100+ housing unit
  • Other uses with environmental impacts
example of zba spreadsheet
Example of ZBA Spreadsheet

Docket # Year Code Use/Disamenity Location Decision

6-60 1960 6 slaughter house 1242 Hargest Lane App.

475-89 1989 2 waste recycling plant 500 Chemical Rd App.

182-90 1990 2 landfill 3115 ft. w. of App.

Patapsco Ave. on Baltin

277-91 1991 1 incinerator 3204-3214 Hawkins Pt. Rd. Disapp.

113-93 1993 4 auto repair shop 3146-3158 Wilkens Ave. Disapp.

example of ordinance spreadsheet
Example of Ordinance Spreadsheet
  • NumberYearCodeDisamenity Location
  • 128 1940 6 Oil Storage Tank for Power Plant 2101-2121 Kloman St.
  • 1952 6 Smelting Plant N. side of Open St. up to Marely Neck Branch
  • 779 1957 2 Scrap iron and metals 1510 Aspen St.
  • 1099 1971 1 Incinerator Pulaski Highway, Reedbird Ave.
  • 304 1998 4 Open Area Parking Lot 1205 Bank St.
data analysis
Data Analysis
  • Map and analyze records in relation to race and income
    • Overlay to demographic data
    • Evaluate change in spatial patterns over time
    • Review and analyze decisional record
  • Map and analyze records in relation to Redlining Data
redlining data
Redlining Data
  • Home Owners Loan Association
  • Security Grade by Neighborhood
    • High, Still Desirable, Declining, Hazardous
  • Criteria
    • Occupations of Residents
    • Average annual income
    • Nationality
    • Percentage of “negro” families
    • Threat of Infiltration
      • “negro, foreign born, lower-grade populations”
    • Encroachment of Industrial Zone
  • Baltimore Reports
    • Race and Industrial Character
redlining data implications
Redlining Data Implications
  • Regulatory Salience Critique
    • Approval of Conditional Use
      • Nature of proposed site
      • Nature of surrounding area
        • Extent to which proposed use might impair present and future development
      • Proximity of dwellings, churches, schools
  • Does Redlining Import Race as a Decisional Factor?
next steps evaluate the market critique
Next Steps: Evaluate the Market Critique
  • Longitudinal analysis
    • Variances and Demographics
      • By Decade
        • Demographics inside impact zones and as compared to control areas or city as a whole
        • Demographics in zones around approved versus disapproved variances
      • Connections to decisional record
    • Redlining Analysis
      • Correlations between redlining zones and variances
      • Review of decisional records