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McNair Scholars Research Journal

Abstract

This study examines the history of environmental racism and unfair housing practices, and their connection to health and socioeconomic impacts. Detroit’s unfair housing practices date back to earlier racial covenants and redlining during the New Deal’s federal housing program. This study utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate the relationship between toxin-producing sites and formerly redlined neighborhoods in Detroit, Michigan. Datasets from 2019 American Community Survey: 5-Year Data (2014-2019) and the Environmental Protection Agency 2017 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) are interpreted using spatial analysis to identify the ratio of facilities between minority and non-minority populations. This experiment demonstrates increased industrial site density near minorities compared to non-minority populations, revealing minorities are impacted by greater concentration of particulate matter.

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