Siting of hazardous waste dump facilities and their correlation with status of surrounding residential neighbourhoods in Los Angeles County

  • Aliyu A
  • Kasim R
  • Martin D
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Abstract

Purpose: The "environmental justice" movement has suggested that demographic inequities characterize the location of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). While some researchers have found evidence that TSDFs are disproportionately located in minority areas, others attribute TSDF location to non-racial factors such as income and industrial employment. Design/methodology/approach: Both univariate and multivariate techniques were used to analyse the location of TSDFs in Los Angeles County, California; the focus on one county allowed this paper to overcome the problem of "fake" addresses for TSDF sites and to introduce specific land use/zoning variables that are not used in the other studies. Findings: Findings from the univariate results and the multivariate model reveal that: industrial land use and manufacturing employment do matter, as suggested by critics of environmental justice; income has first a positive, then a negative effect on TSDF location, a pattern that likely reflects the fact that the poorest communities have little economic activity, while wealthier communities have the economic and political power to resist negative environmental externalities; and race and ethnicity are still significantly associated with TSDF location, even when percentage African American and percentage Latino are evaluated as separate groupings. Research limitations/implications: All 82 Los Angeles County TSDFs currently listed by the California State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) are included in the study. Practical implications: Taken together, the results suggest that communities most affected by TSDFs in the Los Angeles area are working-class and ethnic minorities located near industrial areas. Originality/value: This paper represents the first work to analyse the siting of hazardous waste dump facilities and their correlation with status of surrounding residential neighbourhoods in Los Angeles county. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Demographics
  • Economics
  • Hazardous materials
  • Land
  • Residential areas

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Authors

  • Aliyu Ahmad Aliyu

  • Rozilah Kasim

  • David Martin

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