This article presents findings of the first national tract-level analysis of the distribution of residential characteristics, including the percentage of selected minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, in relation to uncontrolled toxic waste sites (i.e., CERCLIS and NPL sites). In contrast to prevailing notions, the authors find that uncontrolled toxic waste sites are not disproportionately located in minority neighborhoods or neighborhoods of socioeconomically disadvantaged residents. However, multivariate analyses of site distribution and a hazard regression analysis of the site prioritization process suggest that communities with a higher percentage of Black residents are less likely to receive NPL (National Priorities List) designation, delaying potential remediation. Biases in the prioritization process are, however, substantively small.
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