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Environmental Injustices, Political Struggles: Race, Class and the Environment

Edited by
David E. Camacho
David E. Camacho

David E. Camacho is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Arizona University.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-9663-5
Publication date:
1998

In the United States, few issues are more socially divisive than the location of hazardous waste facilities and other environmentally harmful enterprises. Do the negative impacts of such polluters fall disproportionately on African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans? Environmental Injustices, Political Struggles discusses how political, economic, social, and cultural factors contribute to local government officials’ consistent location of hazardous and toxic waste facilities in low-income neighborhoods and how, as a result, low-income groups suffer disproportionately from the regressive impacts of environmental policy.

David E. Camacho’s collection of essays examines the value-laden choices behind the public policy that determines placement of commercial environmental hazards, points to the underrepresentation of people of color in the policymaking process, and discusses the lack of public advocates representing low-income neighborhoods and communities. This book combines empirical evidence and case studies—from the failure to provide basic services to the “colonias” in El Paso County, Texas, to the race for water in Nevada—and covers in great detail the environmental dangers posed to minority communities, including the largely unexamined communities of Native Americans. The contributors call for cooperation between national environmental interest groups and local grassroots activism, more effective incentives and disincentives for polluters, and the adoption by policymakers of an alternative, rather than privileged, perspective that is more sensitive to the causes and consequences of environmental inequities.

Environmental Injustices, Political Struggles is a unique collection for those interested in the environment, public policy, and civil rights as well as for students and scholars of political science, race and ethnicity, and urban and regional planning.

Contributors. C. Richard Bath, Kate A. Berry, John G. Bretting, David E. Camacho, Jeanne Nienaber Clarke, Andrea K. Gerlak, Peter I. Longo, Diane-Michele Prindeville, Linda Robyn, Stephen Sandweiss, Janet M. Tanski, Mary M. Timney, Roberto E. Villarreal, Harvey L. White

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