Group Issues Data Map Showing Poor, Minorities Face More Toxic Risks

February 3, 2016

The Center for Effective Government has released a map and database showing that "people of color and poor residents are significantly more likely to live near dangerous chemical facilities than white and non-poor residents in the United States."

The interactive map project was based on a variety of data sources. One key database, maintained as a legal requirement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tracks more than 12,000 facilities which present an unusual risk of toxic release, fire, or explosion. Those facilities must have a "risk management plan" (RMP) under a 1986 federal law.

The Center for Effective Government is a nonprofit group that advocates for more open government information. The report, "Living in the Shadow of Danger," overlays data on RMP facilities with data on the demographics of people living within one mile of those facilities.

The report references other data sources on poor and minority exposure to toxics, and makes a good starting point for local and state environmental justice stories.

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