Testing for Inequalities in Environmental Enforcement: Government Performance and Environmental Justice

Other External Scholars:
David Konisky, University of Missouri, Columbia
Project Date:
Jun 2007
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
Social, Political, and Economic Inequality

Research on environmental inequality shows that low-income groups and racial minorities face disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards. One possible cause of disparities in exposure to pollution involves ineffective or biased government regulators, but few studies provide clear evidence of this sort of inequality. With an award from the Foundation, Political scientist David Konisky will analyze federal and state enforcement for the three primary U.S. pollution control programs: the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Konisky will use statistical modeling to isolate the effects of race and income on government enforcement of these laws over a twenty year period. Konisky’s analysis should help determine whether and how inequities in enforcement vary between state and federal agencies, between state agencies, and between counties within the same state. Konisky plans to complete at least two articles for publication in academic journals.

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