Manufacturing plants that pollute tend to be located in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of nonwhite populations and lower incomes, according to a new environmental justice study conducted at Pace University.

The Pace study examines the ten most polluting plants in 11 states with substantial African-American populations. Several findings are of interest:

  • Manufacturing firms with polluting facilities have a tendency to choose to locate in counties with higher proportions of nonwhite populations. Lack of political clout and participation in policy-making are usually attributed to this situation.
  • Highly polluting facilities are likely to be in counties with higher per capita incomes, but within a five-mile radius of the plants the proportion of poor people and minorities is higher.
  • Analysis shows that more nonwhites and poor people are likely to live in neighborhoods within a five-mile radius of the manufacturing facilities than in host counties.

This study has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies, Volume 58, p.741-748. For a copy of the full paper, email: