Locally Undesirable Land Uses in Minority and Poor Neighborhoods: An Empirical Test of the Disparate Siting and Market Dynamics Theories
Several studies have shown that neighborhoods that have more racial minorities or low-income households than other communities tend to be host to disproportionate number of locally undesirable land uses (LULUs), such as hazardous waste facilities. Current research, however, does not deal with whether the host neighborhoods were minority or poor neighborhoods at the time the LULUs were cited. To understand both the justice of the existing distribution of LULUs and the likely efficacy of proposed remedies for the disproportionate burden LULUs currently impose on minorities and the poor, it is important to fill this gap in the existing research. First, it must be determined which came first, the LULUs or the minorities or poor that now live next door to the LULUs. Second, it must be known what effect LULUs have on the demographics and property values of their host neighborhoods. The proposed study will address those issues by examining the socioeconomic characteristics of host neighborhoods as of the census closest to the date of the relevant siting decision, then tracing changes in those neighborhood's' characteristics after the LULUs were constructed. The study will focus on those communities which host hazardous waste treatment, disposal, and storage facilities regulated under the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act, as well as those that host the toxic waste sites included on the Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List for clean up under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
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