We propose a framework for evaluating environmental inequity that includes desirable and undesirable characteristics. We also propose that state governments conduct the evaluations and that the local government scale (boroughs, cities, and townships) be the first scale analyzed. This framework recognizes the critical role of the state and local governments in the American federalist system. The 567 local governments of the State of New Jersey are used to illustrate the framework. Results of these analyses should be used to make initial decisions about local governments that warrant investigation at the neighborhood scale and preliminary, though not necessarily, final decisions about local governments and neighborhoods that deserve relief. We identify three important issues that each state will need to confront; selecting and weighting characteristics for analysis; choosing the most appropriate geographical units to use as a basis for decisions; and developing a process that will not be misused by groups seeking to avoid responsibility for their actions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Environmental justice
- Local governments