Environmental justice implications of reduced reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory Burden Reduction Rule.
This paper presents a geographic information systems (GIS) methodology for evaluating the environmental justice implications of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Burden Reduction Rule, which was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 2006 under the authority of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. This rule exempts industrial facilities meeting certain higher reporting thresholds from filing detailed reports about the quantities of chemicals used, released, or managed as waste. Our analytical approach examines demographic characteristics within a 1, 3, and 5 km buffer around a georeferenced facility location, applied on a national, regional, and state scale. The distance-based GIS analysis demonstrates that TRI facilities that are eligible for reduced reporting are more likely to be located in proximity to communities with a higher percentage of minority and low-income residents. The differences are more pronounced for percent minority and percent minority under age 5 in comparison to percent in poverty, and the demographic differences are more apparent at increasingly resolved geographic scales.
Miranda, ML; Keating, MH; Edwards, SE
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