Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Achieving Environmental Justice? The Impact of State Policy On Neighborhood Levels of Environmental Inequality

Researchers have extensive documentation showing the presence of environmental inequality in the United States and have explored its causal mechanisms, which are still up for debate. Yet very little research exists examining the effect of the policies and legislation adopted to alleviate the disproportionate pollution burdens placed on disadvantaged neighborhoods. This study examines the moderating effect of state environmental justice policies on the relationship between neighborhood racial composition and neighborhood pollution levels. The impact of differing policy approaches is investigated by categorizing state environmental justice policies into unenforceable policies, procedure-based legislation, and substantively restrictive legislation. Data from the US Census Bureau and the US Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory is used in the analysis to determine the effects these different categories of policies have on environmental inequality levels.