18 Yale J. Int'l L. 319 (1993)
Race and Environmental Justice in the United States

handle is hein.journals/yjil18 and id is 327 raw text is: Race and Environmental Justice
in the United States
Robert D. Bullardt
I. RACISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL INEQUITY ................................. 319
II. THE NATION'S DUMPING GROUNDS  ................................... 324
III. THE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MOVEMENT  .............................. 327
A. The Environmental And Civil Rights Movements  ........................ 327
B. Case study: Los Angeles ....................................... 329
C. Case Study: Dallas ........................................... 332
IV. CONCLUSION  ................................................ 334
No segment of American society should have a monopoly on a clean
environment. Nevertheless, some communities are forced to bear the brunt of
this nation's pollution problem. Industrial toxins, polluted air and drinking
water, and the siting of municipal landfills, lead smelters, incinerators, and
hazardous waste facilities have had a disproportionate impact upon people of
color, working class communities, and the poor.'
Ecological inequities in the United States result from a number of factors,
including the distribution of wealth, housing and real estate practices, and land
use planning.2 Taken together, these factors give rise to what can be called
environmental racism: practices that place African Americans, Latinos, and
Native Americans at greater health and environmental risk than the rest of
society. This paper analyzes the causes and impacts of environmental
inequities in the United States. Part I examines the links between institutional
racism and ecological disparities. Part II focuses on how institutional racism
affects government practices in the siting of municipal and hazardous waste
disposal facilities. Part I surveys the efforts of people of color to achieve
environmental justice in the United States.
I. RACISM AND ENVIRONMENTAL INEQUITY
Despite attempts made by the U.S. government to level the playing field,
African American, Latino, and Native American communities have borne a
disproportionate share of environmental and health risks. While both class and
t Professor of Sociology, University of California at Riverside.
1. See ROBERT D. BULLARD, DUMPING IN DIXIE: RACE, CLASS, AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY 1-
24 (1990) [hereinafter DUMPING IN DIXIE].
2. ROBERT D. BULLARD, INVISIBLE HOUSTON: THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN BOOM AND BUST 60-75
(1987) [hereinafter INVISIBLE HOUSTON].

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