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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1886; doi:10.3390/su9101886

Exploring Environmental Inequity in South Korea: An Analysis of the Distribution of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Facilities and Toxic Releases

1
Department of Urban Planning and Engineering, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03722, Korea
2
Department of Urban Engineering, Pusan National University, 2 Busandaehak-ro 63beongil, Busan 46241, Korea
3
School of Urban and Environmental Engineering, UNIST; 50 UNIST-gil, Ulsan 44919, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 21 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Recently, location data regarding the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) in South Korea was released to the public. This study investigated the spatial patterns of TRIs and releases of toxic substances in all 230 local governments in South Korea to determine whether spatial clusters relevant to the siting of noxious facilities occur. In addition, we employed spatial regression modeling to determine whether the number of TRI facilities and the volume of toxic releases in a given community were correlated with the community’s socioeconomic, racial, political, and land use characteristics. We found that the TRI facilities and their toxic releases were disproportionately distributed with clustered spatial patterning. Spatial regression modeling indicated that jurisdictions with smaller percentages of minorities, stronger political activity, less industrial land use, and more commercial land use had smaller numbers of toxic releases, as well as smaller numbers of TRI facilities. However, the economic status of the community did not affect the siting of hazardous facilities. These results indicate that the siting of TRI facilities in Korea is more affected by sociopolitical factors than by economic status. Racial issues are thus crucial for consideration in environmental justice as the population of Korea becomes more racially and ethnically diverse. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental inequity; environmental justice; South Korea; Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities; toxic release; spatial regression model environmental inequity; environmental justice; South Korea; Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) facilities; toxic release; spatial regression model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yoon, D.K.; Kang, J.E.; Park, J. Exploring Environmental Inequity in South Korea: An Analysis of the Distribution of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Facilities and Toxic Releases. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1886.

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