Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Charles T. Rubin
Environmental Equity concentric gradient measures
This study examines the socioeconomic and racial characteristics of the areas surrounding the 120 National Priority List Superfund hazardous waste sites in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Using three distinct concentric distance measures, the study uses 1990 census tract data to determine whether Nonwhite and low-income populations live in closest proximity to Pennsylvania's most toxic sites and consequently bear the brunt of the negative externalities associated with having Superfund sites nearby. The results of the study suggest that environmental inequities are not prevalent in the areas surrounding Pennsylvania Superfund sites. Rather, the areas between 1.667 and 3.333 miles away from the sites were found to be significantly more affluent than all other areas in Pennsylvania. One key variable, Nonwhites below the poverty level, showed results consistent with the claims of environmental justice advocates, thus signifying a band of poor residents within the overall more affluent population.
Jablonski, M. (2004). Environmental Equity: Gradient Measures of Race and Social Class in the Areas Surrounding Pennsylvania Superfund Sites (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/690