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Failed PromisesEvaluating the Federal Government's Response to Environmental Justice$
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David M. Konisky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262028837

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262028837.001.0001

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Evaluating Fairness in Environmental Regulatory Enforcement

Evaluating Fairness in Environmental Regulatory Enforcement

(p.172) (p.173) 7 Evaluating Fairness in Environmental Regulatory Enforcement
Failed Promises

David M. Konisky

Christopher Reenock

The MIT Press

In this chapter, the authors examine patterns of race- and class-based disparities in federal and state regulatory enforcement. The chapter begins with a review of past research evaluating these types of disparities in government enforcement activity under major environmental laws. It then sets up and reports the results of an original statistical analysis that takes advantage of detailed, facility-level data on historical EPA and state enforcement activity under the Clean Air Act. The analysis investigates whether the EPA and state government agencies conducted more compliance monitoring inspections and levied more punitive actions at facilities located in poor and minority communities in the years following the adoption of the federal environmental justice policy initiatives of the mid-1990s. Despite explicit calls in Executive Order 12898 and in EPA environmental justice strategy documents that called for the targeting of firms in these communities, the analysis yields sparse evidence that enforcement effort changed during the post-policy period.

Keywords:   Environmental justice, Regulatory enforcement, Clean Air Act, Major air polluters, Policy evaluation, Compliance

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