Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tracy S. Penn
Environmental crime has been described as consisting of acts that cause harm to the natural environment, typically involving the handling of hazardous wastes and the contamination of the air and water. Environmental crime is important to the topic of race and crime because its occurrence affects low-income groups and people of color at a far greater rate than more-affluent White groups. However, defining environmental crime has been rather difficult because of the fluctuating nature of how environmental crimes are characterized and the fact that environmental laws are relatively recent creations that are constantly being reevalu-ated and modified. The most immediate events that come to mind when most think of environmental crime are incidents such as the Love Canal toxic waste disaster, the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant radiation leak, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. However, the emerging concern of environmental justice has to do with the disproportionate Most ...