Fully 31 of 33 air toxics hot spots in North Carolina principally impact communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. That’s the finding of a public interest group which analyzed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.
ProPublica is a nonprofit investigative journalism organization, and its latest report maps the location of toxic industrial air pollution hot spots nationwide. It used EPA data from the Toxic Release Inventory reports, and analyzed resulting cancer risk for nearby “fenceline” communities, using EPA’s Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators model.
NC Policy Watch’s environmental reporter Lisa Sorg then took the ProPublica map and zoomed in to North Carolina to report on the 33 hot spots in our state. She matched that information with data from the state Department of Environmental Quality’s Community Mapping System to confirm the racial and socioeconomic characteristics of the impacted neighborhoods.