Market Environmental Justice: A Case Study on the EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Communities Project
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This research examines the state’s approach to environmental justice activities. I examine the alignment of state agency environmental justice goals with those of environmental justice community organizers. While scholars understand environmental justice as the spatial unevenness of environmental burdens and its political and social production, few have examined state interventions that claim to support environmental justice goals. This study provides an assessment of the weaknesses, strengths, and contradictions of state intervention on behalf of environmental justice communities in the United States. I will explore how the state attempts to address environmental injustice and the outcomes in the EPA’s Environmental Justice Showcase Communities project (EJSC). Findings indicate that the EPA EJSC project was race-blind and market centric. While environmental justice issues are inherently centered on race and structural racism, none of the language or goals of the policy discusses or addresses environmental racism. Rather, the EPA focuses on economic stimulation, decentralization of responsibility, and partnerships with industry through environmental justice policy. I make the argument that the EPA operates, albeit unintentionally, to create market environmental justice, which aligns more with the demands of the market than those of the environmental justice principles.
Bruno, Tianna Marie (2016). Market Environmental Justice: A Case Study on the EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Communities Project. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from