Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty : 1987-2007

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the United Church of Christ’s landmark 1987 Toxic Wastes and Race report. As part of the celebration, the UCC commissioned a new report, Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty 1987-2007.

The new report was recently released at the National Press Club. It is the first study to use 2000 census data, a current national database of commercial hazardous waste facilities, and Geographic Information Systems to count persons living nearby to assess nationally the extent of racial and socioeconomic disparities in facility locations. Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty also examines racial disparities by EPA region and state, and for metropolitan areas, where most hazardous waste facilities are located.

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty reports that people of color now make up the majority (56%) of those living in nearby neighborhoods of the nation’s 413 commercial hazardous waste facilities, nearly double the percentage living further away (30%). The study concludes that the racial and socioeconomic disparities are geographically widespread throughout the country and that people of color are concentrated in neighborhoods and communities with the greatest number of commercial hazardous sites—much more concentrated than in 1987.

Dr. Carlos Correa of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministry, Dr. Paul Mohai of the Unviersity of Michigan's School of Natural Resources, and Dr. Robin Saha of the University of Montana's Environmental Studies Program and School of Public and Community Health Sciences will give a presentation on the new report at the State of Environmental Justice Conference on Friday, March 30th at 7:00 PM. The report can be downloaded from the United Church of Christ's website

EJBlog Note: The authors of the original report include: Shelley D. Hayes, Esq, Larry J. DeNeal, Ph.D. M.P.H., Iris W. Lee, M.P.H., Vernice Miller, Judy F. Richardson, William B. Oliver, Benjamin Goldman and Charles Lee

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