The Park Place Economist


A large body of research exists covering a variety of topics that can be classified under environmental justice. Studies examine air pollution, water pollution, and locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) – such as landfills or hazardous waste sites – to conclude whether or not their environmental burdens are shared equally between individuals of different income levels or race. Research has also been done to determine whether TRI facilities are disproportionately located in low-income and minority communities. These take the form of nation-wide studies, state level studies, county level studies, or those that look at specific communities. The purpose of this study is to examine the distribution of pollution produced by TRI facilities in the state of Illinois, an area not yet researched using a state-wide, county-level study. In this proposal, I hypothesize that:

1) In Illinois there is an inequitable spatial distribution of facilities that produce hazardous wastes.

2) Emissions of hazardous wastes are more prevalent in Illinois counties where higher proportions of minority and low income individuals reside.