Policy Sciences

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 293–314 | Cite as

Going green together? Brownfield remediation and environmental justice

  • Adam Eckerd
  • Andrew G. Keeler


Research on the location of hazardous facilities that contribute to environmental degradation indicates an unequal distribution of such sites within low socioeconomic status communities. In this paper, we contribute to research investigating whether there are similar patterns of unequal prioritization in environmental remediation, by assessing cleanup of a broader, more diverse set of contaminated sites, all brownfields that receive federal grants, with a finer level of geographic detail than previous studies. First, we set the context by assessing the characteristics of the communities in which brownfield sites are currently located. Then, we compare the likelihood and temporal prioritization of cleaning up brownfield sites based on the composition of the neighborhoods in which they are located. We find that brownfield sites are more likely to be located in both poor and predominantly minority communities, but while sites located in poor communities tend to be cleaned up relatively quickly, sites located in communities with larger minority populations tend to be cleaned up more slowly.


Environmental justice Brownfield remediation Environmental policy Urban affairs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Public Administration and Policy, School of Public and International AffairsVirginia TechAlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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