From Brownfields to Greenfields: Assessing the Environmental Justice of Cleaning Up Brownfields
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Series/Report no.:2010 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 24th
Issues of environmental injustice in siting of environmental hazards are well known. Based on past research, the expectation is that lower socioeconomic status populations are systematically subject to higher levels of environmental risk in their communities. In this paper, I investigate whether similar patterns appear prevalent in environmental improvement as well. First, I assess the characteristics of the communities in which brownfield sites are currently located. Then, I compare the likelihood and prioritization of cleaning up brownfield sites based on the composition of their neighborhoods. I find that while sites in communities with larger minority populations are likely to move at a slower pace through the initial assessment phases of the cleanup process, they are no less likely to ultimately be cleaned up. I suggest that economic and political considerations are better explanations of this result than overt discrimination.
Poster Division 1: Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: 1st Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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