Copyright © 2008 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Five Winter 2007-Spring 2008 Numbers 1-2.
UNEQUAL EXPOSURES TO ENVIRONMENTAL DANGER AND THE SEARCH FOR ANSWERS:
A REEXAMINATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS STUDY
Ngozi Ngozi Kamalu Johnson Kamalu
Department of Government Department of Family
and History and Consumer Sciences
Fayetteville State University School of Agricultural and
Fayetteville, North Carolina Environmental Sciences
Alabama A&M University
Published Online: February 10, 2017
This article examines the famous 2001 environmental study in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It examines the central premise that different people and groups are exposed to different levels of hazardous waste. It explores numerous studies on environmental justice research on the theme and then compares their conclusions. The study acknowledged that several factors such as zoning regulations, immigrant status, age, lack of organizational infrastructure and inadequate waste disposal services, while tangentially, are predictors of how far exposed people are to hazardous waste facilities relative to where they live, work and play, and that race and economic status still remain the predominant determinants. The study recommends changes to unfair zoning laws, neighborhood integration, increased wages, improved education, and sanctions on banks, mortgage agencies, and insurance companies that discriminate on the basis of race/ethnicity and class. Additional recommendations include increased government funding for environmental protection agencies, empowerment of vulnerable and powerless groups through education and the placement of a moratorium on the establishment of new waste plants and power stations, pending comprehensive feasibility and environmental impact studies.