Unequal Exposure to Ecological Hazards 2005 documents Massachusetts residents' unequal exposure to environmental hazards. More specifically, the report analyzes both income based
and racially-based disparities in the geographic distribution of some 17 different types of
environmentally hazardous sites and industrial facilities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This report provides evidence that working class communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by toxic waste disposal, incinerators, landfills, trash transfer stations, power plants, and polluting industrial facilities. In some cases, not only are new toxic facilities and dump sites located in poorer neighborhoods and communities of color, but as in the case of the public housing development and playgrounds near the Alewife station in Cambridge, housing for people of color and low income populations is sometimes located on top of preexisting hazardous waste sites and/or nearby polluting facilities. We conclude that striking inequities in the distribution of these environmentally hazardous sites and facilities are placing working class families and people of color at substantially greater risk of exposure to human health risks. We advocate the adoption of a number of measures, including a comprehensive environmental justice act, to reduce pollution and address unequal exposure to ecological threats.