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

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

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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 recognized. 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: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences > Sciences
Depositing User: Jon FAIRBURN
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 12:44
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2014 12:44
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1831

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