.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Demographic and Socioeconomic Research Projects
An Examination of Toxic Releases and Population Characteristics in Baltimore City
  • Christopher Boone, School of Human Evolution & Social Change/School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
  • J. Morgan Grove, USA Northern Research Station
  • Geoffrey L. Buckley, Ohio University
In Baltimore, white, working-class neighborhoods are more likely to be near toxic release sites than primarily black neighborhoods. This holds true using a variety of methods and units of analysis. Of the population characteristics analyzed, race is the most significant, followed by income and education. An analysis of polluting industries from 1960 to 2010 confirms that for the past 40 years, the highest concentration of these facilities is found in primarily white neighborhoods. It also reveals that neighborhoods with low educational attainment are more likely to be near heavy industry and facilities that release toxics into the air, land, and water. A long history of residential segregation and varying perceptions of risk over time may explain the proximity of toxic release sites, mostly industrial facilities, to working-class white neighborhoods.
Boone, Christopher G., Fragkias, Michail, Buckley, Geoffrey L., Grove, J. Morgan. In press. A long view of polluting industry and environmental justice in Baltimore. Cities (accepted September 2013).
Boone, Christopher G., Buckley, Geoffrey L., Grove, J. Morgan, and Chona Sister. 2009. Parks and People: An Environmental Justice Inquiry in Baltimore, Maryland. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99(4): 1-21. doi: 10.1080/00045600903102949
S.T.A. Pickett, P.M. Groffman, M.L. Cadenasso, J.M. Grove, L.W. Band, C.G. Boone, W.R. Burch, Jr., S. Grimmond, J. Hom, J.C. Jenkins, N.L. Law, C.H. Nilon, R.V. Pouyat, K. Szlavecz, P.S. Warren, M.A. Wilson. 2008. Beyond urban legends: an emerging framework of urban ecology as illustrated by the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. BioScience 58, 2: 139-150.
Boone, Christopher G. 2008. Improving resolution of census data in metropolitan areas using a dasymetric approach: applications for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Cities and the Environment 1, 1: article 3. Online: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cate/vol1/iss1/3
Boone, Christopher G. "An Assessment and Explanation of Environmental Inequity in Baltimore." Urban Geography (2002) 23, 6: 581-595.
Grants Awarded
"A Longitudinal Analysis of the Social Dynamics of Environmental Equity in Baltimore" (Boone p.i., Grove, J.M., Buckley, G.L., Lord, C., Troy, A.). Human and Social Dynamics Competition, National Science Foundation. $749,437 (2006-2009).
Boone, Christopher G. Green equity: environmental justice perspectives on Baltimore. Invited seminar, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (March 2013).
Boone, Christopher G. Environmental Justice of Urban Ecosystem Services: A Sustainability Imperative. Invited colloquium, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara (February 2013).
Boone, Christopher G. Environmental Justice of Green Infrastructure: An Urban Sustainability Imperative. Invited presentation for An Open Dialogue on Critical Urban Environmental Issues. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New Haven, CT (January 2013).
Boone, Christopher G. Urban sustainability and environmental justice in Baltimore. Invited seminar, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD (November 2012).
Boone, Christopher G., Buckley, Geoffrey L., Grove, J. Morgan, Fragkias, Michail. A long term perspective on polluting industries and environmental justice in Baltimore. Baltimore Ecosystem Study Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD (October 2012).
"Environmental Inequity as Process." Invited Colloquium, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Akron (April 2002).
Boone, Christopher G. "An Examination of Toxic Releases and Population Characteristics in Baltimore City: A Case Study in Environmental Equity Research." Baltimore Ecosystems Study Annual Meeting (October 2000).
Boone, Christopher G. "Baltimore and the Crisis of Environmental Equity Research." Invited Colloquium, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University (September 2000).
Boone, Christopher G. "Environmental Equity Research: Historical and GIS Methodologies." Presentation at Association of American Geographers 96th Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (April 2000).
Data and Data Collection
Toxic Releases Inventory (TRI) data for Baltimore City, 1987-2005, parsed from EPA data. A constructed GIS database includes location of TRI sites in decimal degrees, name of manufacturer, and total releases in pounds from 1987 to 2005. More detailed data were collected for all TRI sites in Baltimore City but not included in the GIS for analysis. Historical data on land use and zoning, and documentary evidence on housing segregation also collected. Dun and Bradstreet regional directories used to collect data on heavy industry as proxies for TRI sites for 1960, 1970, and 1980.