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Environmental Discrimination

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posted on Jun, 11 2003 @ 10:59 PM
I actually had to go to a symposium on this subject a couple of months ago. They used the term "Environmental Racism" a couple of times.

Environmental Discrimination Project

Environmental discrimination is not a social injustice but dangerous health risk. Those who can afford to live in areas with low pollution rates do, but those who can not may have to live in areas that can cause serious health problems since those areas are cheaper. Environmental discrimination is defined as the results of and the process by which implementation of environmental policy creates intended or unintended consequences which have disproportionate impacts on individuals, populations, or communities of minority groups or races, or of lower incomes. Lower income people do not have many options in housing so they must take what they can afford. Of course areas with hazards will be cheaper so sometimes they have no choice but to live in a dangerous area. Often these dangers are unknown to people so they are blindly living in homes and neighborhoods that could cause serious health hazards such as asthma and cancer. Some neighborhoods have already been built over dangerous sites and people have gotten sick so now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recording toxic sites and if the chemicals in them are being spread to the public. The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) contains data submitted to EPA by regulated facilities concerning chemicals and that have been determined to be toxic to humans. This data includes the amount of each chemical released and the medium (i.e. air, land, or water) that they are released into. This information combined with GIS data can be incredibly useful in determining environmental discrimination. GIS can determine the areas that have dangerous levels of chemicals and compare it to areas of different income levels to determine if there is a correlation.

posted on Jun, 12 2003 @ 07:23 AM
dragonrider, I remember a local news story from my area about a development built on an old battery recycling facility. They were able to unearth pieces of battery cases and the EPA made them all leave while the clean-up took place. PPM of lead and acid were way too high so it pays a person to research the area before buying but in this case I think these were mid-income homes. It sounded like it was an underhanded deal by the contracter, developer , and the EPA for my state to me. Its not suprising since our current gov. is sort of "not a legal minded person". I think he's more worried about his libedo than his job but I guess thats the in thing to do these days.

I think your post was a good one and certainly proves a big point, poverty is the most formidable enemy of the environment. I was interested in the GIS portion especially. I've tried to educate people on its use for also regulating industrial hemp production as tobacco is on its way out but the old southern baptist, which are based in the cotton growing states who don't want hemp as competition, refuse to credit it usefulness.

posted on Jun, 12 2003 @ 07:06 PM

I read the report you are referring to: it was indeed a crooked deal regarding the developers, and I wouldnt be surprised if the local county permitting officials were involved as well.

Now being in the environmental field, I do my own Phase I prior to purchasing any new property. It has saved my a$$ in at least one case.

In my position, I have to deal with a lot of the same issues, mainly finding out that a subdivision has been located on a landfill or other similar situation. As these were put in and not registered, usually as far back as the 1940s-1950s, there isnt a whole lot you can do about it unfortunately.

All I can say is that there is a home builder (whose name starts with a K) that shouldnt be trusted for just such problems.

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