Early "environmental equity" studies claimed hazardous waste facilities (TSDFs) were disproportionately located in minority and disadvantaged communities. Recently, research has challenged such claims. Regardless of conclusions, no national study has evaluated inequity in the siting process or the impact of TSDFs on the demographic composition of communities after TSDFs began operations, or distinguished between TSDF-caused change and general population trends. This article presents findings from the first national tract-level longitudinal study of communities with TSDFs. We find no stark evidence of environmental inequity or disparate impact. Results suggest compositional change in host communities may best be explained by general population trends.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Research for this article was conducted at the Social and Demographic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and supported, in part, by a grant from Waste Management Inc. to the Northeast Regional Public Health Center and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under agreement R 823185-01-0. Although funded in part by EPA, this article has not been subjected to EPA’s peer and administrative review and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency or its official endorsement. We gratefully acknowledge Dee Weber for her technical assistance and anonymous reviewers for their comments and criticisms. An earlier draft version of this article was presented at the 1995 meetings of the American Sociological Association. Data for this article were provided in part by the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research.