Environmental Equity in North Carolina: An Empirical Study

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Title: Environmental Equity in North Carolina: An Empirical Study
Author: Rodgers, Douglas Patrick
Advisors: Dr. Andrew Taylor, Committee Chair
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to examine the demographic composition of areas surrounding commercial hazardous transport, storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) in North Carolina and determine if minorities and low income persons were disproportionately represented at the time of siting. The methodological approaches in environmental equity studies to date vary considerably. The research conducted in this study utilized two methodologies with independent variables to determine if there were environmental equity concerns at the time each of the facilities were sited. The research revealed that utilizing two different methodologies in the same study area produced substantially different results. The census tract method consists of examining census data such as race and income of the commercial TSDF's host census tract. I then compared the data with the host county's census data. The data indicated that facilities were sited in tracts with a large percentage of low income households. Furthermore, census tract data indicated that facilities were sited in tracts with an overwhelmingly high percentage of white households. The concentric circle method consists of using specialized software to draw a one mile concentric circle around the facility and examining the demographic data inside the circle. Similar to the census tract method, results from the concentric circle method suggested that low income households were disproportionately represented around the facilities. However, an examination of race presented drastically different results. The concentric circle method indicated that facilities were sited in tracts with an overwhelmingly large percentage of African Americans.
Date: 2003-11-13
Degree: MS
Discipline: Political Science
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2197


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