Skip to main content

Whose risk in Philadelphia? Proximity to unequally hazardous industrial facilities

Citation: Social Science Quarterly, 2007, 88, 2, 515-534

Few researchers have investigated who lives near the worst polluting facilities. In this study, we test for disparate impact from hazardous industrial and infrastructure facilities on racial/ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged, the working class, and manufacturing workers in the nine-county Philadelphia MSA. Methods. Hazard Scores for Philadelphia-area facilities in EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) database were calculated and facilities mapped onto Census block group maps. One-kilometer buffer zones around facilities were created and intersected with Census data on population inside and outside buffers. After correcting for spatial autocorrelation, we tested for relationships between Hazard Scores and characteristics of people near facilities using multivariate regression. Results. Hazard Scores rose along with percents black, Hispanic, disadvantaged, and employed in manufacturing in some (but not all) counties. Conclusions. Among those living near polluting facilities, minorities, the poor, and manufacturing workers lived near the most hazardous, constituting a disparate impact on these groups.

Related Content

ISFEREA — Scientific and technical support to

UNOSAT — The crisis in Gaza.

UNOSAT — Supporting flood relief in West

After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide. Craig Etchenson

Towards a Human Rights Observing System. Lars Bromley

Interpreting Optical Remote Sensing Images.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS Net)

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Mapping Initiative

Data and Tools
European Commission Joint Research Center Fuzzy Matcher. European Commission Joint Research Center

Sudan Interagency Mapping data.

NASA Satellite Data and Imagery Resources – Warehouse Inventory Search….