Date of Award

12-14-2015

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Environmental Health Sciences

First Advisor

Dwayne E. Porter

Abstract

Environmental justice (EJ) grew out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as well as grass roots organizations during the 1980s and early 1990s. However, it was not until President William J. Clinton signed Executive Order (EO) 12898 in 1994 that EJ became an official governmental policy. With this directive, federal agencies made EJ part of their daily operations. EO 12898 had two overriding goals, the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all populations. As part of these goals, minority, low-income, and native populations would be analyzed for any disproportionate and adverse impacts on human or environmental health. Despite EJ’s potential and growth over the last 20 years, there are multiple policies in place at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Therefore, this study will assess six different EJ guidelines (four federal, two state) identify potential EJ populations in the study area of South Carolina. This study will analyze different governmental guidelines and the potential populations they identify using geographic comparisons, statistics, and similarity indices. This study will also analyze governmental-identified EJ populations in terms of coincident fish consumption advisory waterbodies, urban and rural areas, and land use and land cover. It is hoped this research will stimulate further EJ study and help governments come to a consensus on a unifying EJ guideline.

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