I created this preliminary "snapshot" to begin to understand the relationship between demographics and 1998 TRI Air releases as I await the final EPA data release in June. It is based on the county level data released on May 11, 2000. I chose Arizona and New Mexico because the addition of new TRI reporting industries in 1998, particularly mining and electric utilities, indicates that toxic air releases are much higher than was thought previously. I chose American Indians because their percentage is substantially higher in these two states than it is in the U.S. as a whole (0.78%). The respective percent American Indian population is indicated on the map over each county. Given the state averages of 5.50% and 8.83% respectively, the relationship clearly deserves further research.
Indeed, given the tripling of TRI releases due to the addition of these new reporting categories and the changing pattern of releases (particularly the shift from urban to rural in many cases), there is a great deal of new environmental justice research that must be done.
(Demographic percentages based on the 1990 Census Summary Tape File 3 (STF3A), http://venus.census.gov/cdrom/lookup.)
NOTE: This is a work in progress. It is based on EPA's May 11, 2000 preliminary data release. All of the new releases are attributable to the newly added sectors -- metal mining, coal mining, electric utilities, chemical wholesalers, petroleum bulk terminals, and hazardous waste treatment, storage, & disposal facilities / solvent recovery (these last two categories are currently treated as one by EPA). Some gross assumptions may be made and "shapshots" taken, but we must wait until sometime in June, 2000 for EPA to release the more detailed raw data before we can do the much more detailed research that is needed. Read my Brief Discussion outlining my initial reaction to the new data.
Data Sources: EPA TRI Explorer,
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