Yesterday's thesis about the relationship between land value, environmental enforcement, and pollution, used a map from http://scorecard.goodguide.com/env-releases/land/, showing toxic release sites on a map of the USA, and a chart from the same website showing the relative amount of toxics generated in specific localities. When the releases are charted as "an occurance" and each release is given a single data point, the map shows the "superfund sites" to be concentrated in urban areas.
The sites, when weighted by actual tons of pollutions, are 83.75% in the top 20 / 100 sites (suggesting the 80/20 rule or Paretto Principle may apply). The top 10 sites are in Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Missouri (Doe Run area), and Orange Florida. Each of these sites has a "drilldown" function for data at Scorecard.Goodguide.com Orange County Florida, the one non-western, non-mining area on the top ten list, has a NASA, USA Department of Defense, WR Grace, Dupont, Department of Energy, Chevron industry, etc. on its list of "potentially responsible parties" for lagoon pollution. The nine sites above it are raw material extraction industry sites, none of which, my thesis states, could function economically inside a high-property value area.
|1.||NORTHWEST ARCTIC, AK||481,382,100|
|4.||SALT LAKE, UT||138,824,328|
The enforcement and likelihood that a site is identified as a threat is proportionate to its proximity to a landholder complaining about it. For this reason, the "superfund" target sites on the USA map above are concentrated around cities and population centers. This "NIMBY" or "Not In My Back Yard" dynamic is part of a normal democracy. The spotlight on "environmental justice" in the USA focused on the difference the likelihood of enforcement correlated to race of neighborhoods; that's an overlyer, according to my thesis, for economics and property values. As I pointed out in one of the Slums Blogs last spring, 5th Avenue in Manhattan had auto repair shops a hundred years ago... but these relocated to Queens because it's easier to do repair work on an area with lower property value.
The Diagram Below generalizes the relationship between property value, wealth, and awareness of pollution. People live in rural villages, forests, and plains, but their population density is lower, and enforcement of all types is less likely in these areas.
The difficulty or unlikelihood of an enforcement paradigm outside of a population center is why emerging market city-states like Hong Kong and Singapore are more likely to achieve OECD-like status sooner than an emerging market like Malaysia or Indonesia or Brazil... the most recent nations admitted entry into OECD have been small. Large nations admitted to OECD tend to have gained entrance early on, because of their econmic power (like the USA). The USA was admitted into OECD while the pollution in Orange County was occuring, but as one of the "founders" of the OECD, the USA benefitted from a simpler formula - wealthy and white. Not even Japan was not on the first OECD list.