Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Donald H. Miller
Environmental justice seeks to assess the fairness of the distribution of environmental risks and benefits. Of primary concern are the negative effects of nearby activities that generate pollution or risk in some form and that have health or nuisance impacts on people who live or work in the neighborhood. Most research and public policy dealing with environmental justice seeks to determine whether low-income or minority populations are disproportionately and negatively impacted by polluting activities. Primarily since the 1970s, a number of research projects in the United States have investigated whether or not a systematic inverse relationship exists between pollution exposure and income or racial minority populations. Many of these studies examined the population characteristics of areas in the vicinity of solid waste transfer stations and disposal sites. Criticisms of many of these investigations concern their (a) dealing with population areas larger than the likely spatial extent of the negative spillovers, ...