Buffalo in the Brownfields: Environmental Injustice?
Cramblet, Stephanie Gwyn
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The purpose of this study is to identify whether environmental injustice can be associated with the locations of Brownfield sites in Buffalo, NY based on socio-economic demographic factors. The socio-economic demographic minority and low-income factors are from the 2000 US Census with the Brownfield site locations identified by the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Envirofacts Warehouse. The study statistically examines the 1-mile and .5-mile buffers zones surrounding each Brownfield location as to whether there are significant concentrations of minority and/or low-income households within close proximity to the Brownfield sites. The study uses LOGIT multivariate regression to model the spatial distribution of the Brownfield sites using the significant minority and low-income predictor factors internal and external to the buffer zones. Results with the best predictive power were found at the block-group aggregation level with a .5-mile buffer zone for Black and low-income high-density populations. The resultant environmental injustice areas using GIS mapping techniques visually display the clustering of minority and low-income populations in the proximity of environmentally contaminated Brownfield sites.