This research project explores environmental racism in the state of Iowa. Environmental racism refers to disproportional numbers of locally undesirable land uses (LULUs) within communities in which people of color are highly represented. Research has indicated these disproportionate burdens through documentation in previous studies throughout many states in the United States (Bullard, 1994). The demographics of each of Iowa's ninety-nine counties are examined and percentages are identified for European Americans, African Americans, and "Others" in the population. The sitings of LULUs are also indexed using information on EPA National Priorities List Sites, incinerators, and landfills. The data shows that among the nine counties in Iowa having higher percentages of African Americans than the state percentage of 1. 7%, there is a substantially higher number of locally undesirable land uses than an equitable distribution would provide. There is a need for future research to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic status and environmental racism. Some studies have argued that it is SES, rather than race, that plays the more significant role in disproportionate burdens (e.g., Anderton et al., 1994; Been, 1995).
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference
©1996 by the University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA
Schwenker, Jeremy R. and Jakob-Chien, Cynthia Y.A.
"A Preliminary Investigation of Environmental Racism in Iowa,"
Conference Proceedings: Undergraduate Social Science Research Conference: Vol. 1:
1, Article 18.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/csbsproceedings/vol1/iss1/18