Junfang Chen

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Baker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research is devoted to an increasingly recognized issue: environmental injustice, that is, the distribution of environmental risks and/ hazards are disproportionably distributed in the space in terms of the effects on the victims. Specifically, this thesis focuses on an analysis of the spatial distribution of hazardous materials from fixed incidents and the characteristics of neighborhoods living near the incident sites, so as to test the hypothesized relationships that poor people and minority people live near the incident sites. SEMCOG region, Michigan is chosen as the study area due to its frequent occurrence of incidents involving environmental hazards. It is learned from the literature on environmental injustice that there are several different units of analysis and methods being used, since the issue of environmental injustice is well known, this research tries to approach the issue of environmental injustice in a different way. In order to testify whether the unit of analysis plays a role in the findings on environmental injustice, this research extends the unit of analysis from census tract to county subdivision level (city, township). The results show that poor people and minority people tend to live near the environmental hazards, and the unit of analysis does not play significant role.

Included in

Geography Commons