Ports and Environmental Justice in the United States: An Exploratory Statistical Analysis

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Abstract

A screening environmental justice analysis was conducted of 50 United States ports that manage more than 10 million tons of products. Using the U.S. EPA's EJSCREEN tool, the author examined seven demographic and 11 environmental metrics at distances of 2, 5, and 10 miles from the port centroids. The 2-mile zones were found to have higher values for 13 of the 18 environmental inequity indicators, including all three measures of air toxics, fine particles, proximity to hazardous waste sites, and facilities with risk management plans, as well as indicators of low socioeconomic status and minority populations. With ports expanding, the author discusses the need for maintaining and upgrading EPA's screening tool and considers that alternative futures for port neighborhoods depend upon the strength of their civic groups and elected officials, the role of their government port authorities, and civic values of their commercial users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2112-2126
Number of pages15
JournalRisk Analysis
Volume41
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Physiology (medical)

Keywords

  • Cumulative risk
  • EJSCREEN
  • environmental justice
  • ports

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