Developing a holistic-empirical methodology for identifying areas of potential environmental justice concerns: a case study of Jefferson County, Alabama

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dc.contributor Curtin, Kevin
dc.contributor Spears, Ellen
dc.contributor.advisor LaFevor, Matthew
dc.contributor.author Jack, Katie
dc.date.accessioned 2020-09-30T17:25:17Z
dc.date.available 2020-09-30T17:25:17Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003650
dc.identifier.other Jack_alatus_0004M_14112
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/7049
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Environmental justice (EJ) – the belief that everyone, regardless of race, income, or national origin, deserves to live and work in a healthy environment and to be included in decision making processes regarding their environment – has gained an increased presence within popular culture over the past several decades, yet many low-income and minority populations still experience greater environmental burdens than other communities. Despite a broad awareness that environmental injustice proliferates in the United States and throughout the world, and despite numerous attempts by government agencies and various academics, there is not a clear methodology for identifying areas of potential concern in the EJ literature. With pollution data from the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) and demographic data at the census tract level from the Census Bureau on median household income and minority populations, this thesis seeks to fill this gap, by creating a model that recognizes sites of potential environmental injustice using Jefferson County, Alabama, as an example. By utilizing Geographic Information System (GIS) tools and statistical software, relationships between the amount of – and exposure to – pollution and median household income and minority population percentage were either confirmed or rejected. A field survey was also conducted in the three census tracts in Jefferson County with the most pollution to see if any other common factors associated with environmental injustice such as lack of access to healthy foods and medical care were observable. In Jefferson County, minority population percentage, both on its own and in conjunction with median household income, is a weak to moderate but statistically significant predictor of exposure to pollution, and various combinations of other factors associated with environmental injustice were observed in each of the three census tracts analyzed. While this study did not yield definitive results that there are specific instances of environmental injustice in Jefferson County, Alabama, the synthesis of results from the numerous phases of investigation indicates areas of potential concern and that further research needs to be done to both establish inequitable environmental conditions and to further calibrate the model.
dc.format.extent 83 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Environmental justice
dc.subject.other Geography
dc.title Developing a holistic-empirical methodology for identifying areas of potential environmental justice concerns: a case study of Jefferson County, Alabama
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Geography
etdms.degree.discipline Geography
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.S.


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