Healthy Homes and Black Bodies: A Case Study on Marketized Environmental Justice Policy in Port Arthur, Texas

Authors: Tianna Bruno*, University of Oregon, Wendy Jepson, Texas A&M University
Topics: Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Environmental Justice Policy, Race, Neoliberalism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Environmental justice policy has been taken to task by many scholars on how ineffective it has been in actually creating or facilitating justice in EJ communities. In this paper, we suggest that not only is the policy inadequate in facilitating justice, but importantly is perpetuates many of the injustices faced by these communities, particularly as it relates to racial injustice. As these policies are created and implemented in a neoliberal racial state, it recreates race by not increasing or enforcing environmental regulation in marginalized communities and reinforces racial ideologies by placing the individual at the center of the environmental injustice remediation. Through this analysis, we find that race-neutral policies have racialized impacts and perpetuate the plight of those suffering from environmental injustice by decentralizing responsibility from the state to individuals and painting members of this community as deviant. Our research focuses on Port Arthur, Texas, an environmental justice community in Texas along the Gulf Coast.

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