Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice and the Politics of Garbage

Dr. Robert D. Bullard (2014)

In place of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) politics, Houston practiced a “PIBBY” (Place In Blacks’ Back Yard) policy. Government and private industry targeted Houston’s Black neighborhoods for landfills, incinerators, garbage dumps, and garbage transfer stations.

The Politics of Equity

Dr. Robert D. Bullard (1978)

The environmental movement in the United States emerged with agendas that focused on such areas as wilderness and wildlife preservation, resource conservation, pollution abatement, and population control, and was supported primarily by wealthy white communities.

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty

Dr. Robert D. Bullard, Dr. Paul Mohai, Dr. Robin Saha, and Dr. Beverly Wright (2007)

This report found race to be the most potent variable in predicting where hazardous waste facilities were located in the Unites States, even more powerful that household income. 


Racialized Siting

Racialized industrial facilities siting, which has subsequently led to a higher number of brownfields, can be attributed to higher levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and toxic particulate pollution (PM2.5) “hazardous” and “declining” graded communities. In fact, nitrogen dioxide pollution levels are 56% higher in communities graded as “hazardous” than those graded as “best."

Moreover, 3 out of every 5 Black and Hispanic Americans live in communities near uncontrolled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hazardous waste sites. On average, communities within 3 km of hazardous waste sites are 56% people of color, despite making up only 30% of the population nationally.

Environmental justice incorporates the idea that we are just as much concerned about wetlands, birds and wilderness areas, but we’re also concerned with urban habitats, where people live in cities, about reservations, about things that are happening along the US-Mexican border, about children that are being poisoned by lead in housing and kids playing outside in contaminated playgrounds.

Dr. Robert Bullard

Father of Environmental Justice
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