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Industrial pollution and social deprivation: evidence and complexity in evaluating and responding to environmental inequality

Walker, G, Michell, G, FAIRBURN, Jonathan and SMITH, Graham (2007) Industrial pollution and social deprivation: evidence and complexity in evaluating and responding to environmental inequality. Local Environment, 10. pp. 361-377. ISSN 1469-6711

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Abstract or description

The local impacts of industrial pollution can take many forms and—whilst uncertain in their scale, severity and distribution—are widely recognised. The question of who in society potentially experiences these impacts through living near to emission sources has been little explored, at least in the UK. This paper reports on a study carried out for the Environment Agency, which examined the distribution of sites coming within the Industrial Pollution Control (IPC) regime against patterns of deprivation. Our analysis provides evidence of a socially unequal distribution of IPC sites in England, with sites disproportionately located and clustered together in deprived areas and near to deprived populations. In discussing these results we emphasise the methodological limitations of this form of environmental justice analysis and the crucial differences between proximity, risk and impact. We also consider the distinction between inequality and injustice and the difficult policy questions which arise when evaluating evidence of environmental inequality, including potential grounds for policy intervention.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
L700 Human and Social Geography
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Sciences
Depositing User: Jon FAIRBURN
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 12:44
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 15:35
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1831

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