Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Global and International Studies

First Advisor

Denise Keele

Second Advisor

Cybelle Shattuck


This thesis examined environmental justice aspects of drinking water policies in four cities across Michigan: Flint, Birmingham, St. Joseph, and Benton Harbor. An overview of the history of the environmental justice movement, environmental racism, and drinking water policies provided the basis for a four-part evaluative criterion to assess environmental justice components at the municipal level. These criteria include (1) housing tenure, (2) age, size, and service line composition of the infrastructure, (3) public participation in the policy process, and (4) emergency management of the city. Findings indicate that environmental justice has come a long way, with cities now incorporating components into municipal policies regarding drinking water. However, race, income, and housing tenure remain important indicators for environmental justice concerns despite the geographical proximity of the cities analyzed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Paldan_Defense Presentation.pdf (3200 kB)
Defense Presentation