Environmental Justice in the Urban Environment

  • Myrna H. P. HallEmail author
  • Stephen B. Balogh


This chapter introduces students to the topic of environmental justice. Environmental justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to environmental contamination or degradation. The call for EJ stems from a history of discrimination where both corporate entities and governments have selected locations for locally undesirable land uses (incinerators, sewage treatment plants, bus barns, etc.), known as LULUs, in neighborhoods where the population was majority nonwhite race and/or economically poor. This history means that these communities have disproportionately resided in some of the most toxic urban environments or in rural areas where raw materials for our cities’ economic life are extracted or where urban wastes are frequently disposed. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Justice was formed in 1993 to help communities fight institutionalized racism. Case studies and tools for assessing EJ violations are presented, and factors influencing public response to environmental risk are reviewed.


Environmental justice Environmental racism NIMBY LULU 

Supplementary material

458872_1_En_13_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Field_Exercise_3_RiskPerception (DOCX 19 KB)
458872_1_En_13_MOESM2_ESM.docx (361 kb)
Exercise_11_Environmental Justice (DOCX 392 KB)
458872_1_En_13_MOESM3_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Field_Exercise_12_Soil_Lead_Levels (DOCX 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental StudiesSUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Office of Research and Development, Atlantic Ecology DivisionUS Environmental Protection AgencyNarragansettUSA

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