Who lives near coke plants and oil refineries An exploration of the environmental inequity hypothesis

Authors: Graham, J.D. Beaulieu, N.D. Sussman, D. Sadowitz, M. Li, Y.C. (Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, Boston, MA (United States))
 
Abstract: Facility-specific information on pollution was obtained for 36 coke plants and 46 oil refineries in the US and matched with information on populations surrounding these 82 facilities. These data were analyzed to determine whether environmental inequities were present, whether they were more economic or racial in nature, and whether the racial composition of nearby communities has changed significantly since plants began operations. The Census tracts near coke plants have a disproportionate share of poor and nonwhite residents. Multivariate analyses suggest that existing inequities are primarily economic in nature. The findings for oil refineries are not strongly supportive of the environmental inequity hypothesis. Rank ordering of facilities by race, poverty, and pollution produces limited (although not consistent) evidence that the more risky facilities tend to be operating in communities with above-median proportions of nonwhite residents (near coke plants) and Hispanic residents (near oil refineries). Over time, the radical makeup of many communities near facilities has changed significantly, particularly in the case of coke plants sited in the early 1900s. Further risk- oriented studies of multiple manufacturing facilities in various industrial sectors of the economy are recommended.
Publication Date: 01 Apr 1999
Resource Type: Journal Article
Resource Relation: Risk Analysis; Vol/Issue: 19:2
Country of Publication: United States
Language: English
Keywords relating to this report:
-- ENERGY PLANNING &
COKING PLANTS
HEALTH HAZARDS
MINORITY GROUPS
MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS
PETROLEUM REFINERIES PUBLIC HEALTH SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS
POLICY-- FOSSIL FUELS
Related subjects:
HAZARDS
HUMAN POPULATIONS
INDUSTRIAL PLANTS
INSTITUTIONAL FACTORS
MATHEMATICS
POPULATIONS STATISTICS