All Case Summaries

Air Pollution and Environmental Justice in Washington, DC

Researchers found that although PM2.5‑related health prob­lems have decreased in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., over the past 20 years, these prob­lems are uneven and inequitable across neigh­bor­hoods and sub­groups. Of the 51 neigh­bor­hoods stud­ied, the 10 with the high­est PM2.5‑related health risks had 10% low­er edu­ca­tion and employ­ment rates, 10% more peo­ple liv­ing in pover­ty, and $61,000 low­er medi­an house­hold income com­pared with their less at-risk coun­ter­parts. The 10 neigh­bor­hoods with the high­est PM2.5‑attributed mor­tal­i­ty had 54% more Black residents.

Big Dig, Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T)

Big dig, or the Cen­tral Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T) is a mega-project in Boston, Mass­a­chu­setts and it’s con­sid­ered one of the biggest civ­il engi­neer­ing projects in USA. It con­sist of sev­er­al project tasks, includ­ing the depres­sion of Boston’s Cen­tral Artery (I‑93) and the con­struc­tion of a 3rd tun­nel to Logan Air­port under the Boston Har­bor. It main­ly aims to alle­vi­ate the pres­sure of I‑93 traffic.

Black Lives Matter in Engineering, Too! An Environmental Justice Approach Towards Equitable Decision-Making for Stormwater Management in African American Communities

This dis­ser­ta­tion details the stormwa­ter man­age­ment prac­tices and his­to­ry in East Tam­pa, and uses them as a frame­work to address stormwa­ter man­age­ment on a larg­er lev­el. It goes into detail about East Tam­pa, although it also men­tions a num­ber of oth­er places, and does so by approach­ing the sub­ject of stormwa­ter man­age­ment through a lens influ­enced by both envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice and crit­i­cal race theory.

Brentwood Bus Depot in D.C. and How it Affects Communities of Color

D.C. is plan­ning to build a 230 bus ter­mi­nal in Brent­wood, a his­tor­i­cal­ly black com­mu­ni­ty in ward 5, that already faces dis­pro­por­tion­ate affects of pol­lu­tion. Com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers are upset with the deci­sion due to the lack of a com­pre­hen­sive envi­ron­men­tal assess­ment done by the law­mak­ers as the city intends to tran­si­tion to elec­tric vehi­cles, elim­i­nat­ing the need for an assessment.

Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)

For more eco­nom­ic gas trans­porta­tion and stor­age, a pipeline was to be built from North Dako­ta to Pako­ta, Illi­nois. How­ev­er, this pipeline induced great con­cern and many peo­ple were protest­ing about it. If it leaks, it will have a huge envi­ron­men­tal impact on soil and water sources. Also, the pipeline cross­es the local tribe’s sacred land, which is not accept­ed by the trib­al peo­ple. The pipeline is a vivid exam­ple of how the build­ing of infra­struc­ture strug­gles with social/environmental factors.

Detroit’s I‑375 Removal

Detroit’s I‑375 has received ini­tial fund­ing towards replac­ing the free­way with a boule­vard to pro­vide safer trans­porta­tion and increased com­mu­ni­ty sup­port. The I‑375 has had his­tor­i­cal impacts on down­town Detroit with its con­struc­tion in the 1950s and 1960s result­ing in demol­ish­ing pre­dom­i­nant­ly black com­mu­ni­ties. This pro­pos­al led by the State of Michi­gan and the City of Detroit aims to repair the com­mu­ni­ty, but some have con­cerns if DEI issues will be effec­tive­ly addressed.

EMBA Hunutlu Power Station

A 1.3 GW coal-fired pow­er plant is con­struct­ed along the Bay of Isk­enderun in the north­east­ern cor­ner of the Mediter­ranean Sea and already starts oper­at­ing in 2022. It’s the biggest direct invest­ment of Chi­na in Turkey, as part of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI). While it has eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits to Turkey, it may not pay back in the 30 year oper­at­ing peri­od and it faces protests about bio­di­ver­si­ty loss, exces­sive air pol­lu­tion and health impact.

Environmental justice and drinking water quality: are there socioeconomic disparities in nitrate levels in U.S. drinking water?

This study was con­duct­ed to address pos­si­ble dis­par­i­ties across socioe­co­nom­ic stra­ta in regards to drink­ing water con­t­a­m­i­na­tion. Seek­ing to look specif­i­cal­ly at nitrate, a num­ber of find­ings were made that raised con­cern — specif­i­cal­ly that His­pan­ic com­mu­ni­ties are much more like­ly to expe­ri­ence high nitrate con­t­a­m­i­na­tion in the water.

Environmental Justice and the Politics of Risk: Water Resource Controversies in Taiwan

The Tai­wanese gov­ern­ment attempt­ed to con­struct a water diver­sion in the ear­ly 2000s in order to help mit­i­gate poten­tial effects of future droughts. While both envi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tists and local indige­nous groups argued against the build­ing of it due to the poten­tial for it to desta­bi­lize the area it was being built geo­log­i­cal­ly, the project con­tin­ued until Typhoon Morakot in 2009 sus­pend­ed its con­struc­tion indefinitely.

Extreme Flooding Events in Quang Nam, Vietnam

Viet­nam, par­tic­u­lar­ly the region of Quang Nam, are locat­ed in an area extreme­ly vul­ner­a­ble to flood­ing events, which dev­as­tate the most­ly agri­cul­tur­al region, and cli­mate change has direct­ly result­ed in these flood­ing events get­ting worst in the past twen­ty years. Instead of address­ing changes that could actu­al­ly address the issue, how­ev­er, the gov­ern­ment has focused most of its effort on refor­esta­tion and for­est man­age­ment, despite lack of evi­dence that these actions are at all like­ly to help mit­i­gate dis­as­trous flood­ing events.

Geotechnical Risk Assessment and Environmental Justice

This study ana­lyzes a num­ber of geot­ech­ni­cal risk assess­ment reports, and address­es how well they deal with the core prin­ci­ples and themes of envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice. The find­ings are rather lack­lus­ter, how­ev­er the paper also gives a num­ber of pos­si­ble rea­sons why this might be the case.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)

A mega dam is being built in Ethiopia along the Blue Nile Riv­er. The new hydro­elec­tric pow­er plant is expect­ed to gen­er­ate 5GW elec­tric­i­ty, lift­ing the whole coun­try out of pover­ty and sym­bol­iz­ing the nation­al pow­er. How­ev­er, as the riv­er is a shared resouce with 10 oth­er coun­tries, it under­goes huge dis­pute, espe­cial­ly with Egypt, and the ten­sion is escavating.

Istanbul Canal

In order to alle­vi­ate the traf­fic pres­sure of the Bospho­rus Canal, reduce the poten­tial risks of ships loaded with dan­ger­ous mate­ri­als, and pro­mote the country’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, Istan­bul Canal will be built con­nect­ing Mara­ma Sea and the Black Sea. How­ev­er this project will cause inse­cu­ri­ty for Rus­sia, upset envi­ron­men­tal sta­bil­i­ty, pol­lute fresh­wa­ter resources and deplete land for peo­ple’s living.

Jackson Square Redevelopment Initiative

The Jack­son Square Rede­vel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive is a com­mu­ni­ty led project to devel­op an aban­doned piece of land with afford­able hous­ing and com­mu­ni­ty resources in a minor­i­ty and income impact­ed neigh­bor­hood in Boston, MA. The land Jack­son Square resides on was demol­ished for an inter­state that was nev­er built in the 1970s. Today, the project is one of the largest , and most suc­cess­ful, com­mu­ni­ty dri­ven devel­op­ments in the country.

London’s Heathrow Airport’s Third Runway

A third run­way in the Lon­don Heathrow Air­port is to be built for increas­ing the air­port car­ry­ing capac­i­ty and resilience to flight changes. It’s vital to secure the air­port’s hub posi­tion in the whole Europe but it has been so hard to go ahead because of all the issues behind the plan, such as the com­mu­ni­ty dimin­ish­ment, noise and oppo­si­tion to car­bon neu­tral­i­ty plan. Still, at present, the ban has been removed.

Lowndes County Sanitation Disparity

Lown­des Coun­ty in rur­al Alaba­ma faces inad­e­quate san­i­ta­tion prac­tices result­ing in 90% of com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers hav­ing fail­ing sewage sys­tems pol­lut­ing their liv­ing spaces. Cur­rent poli­cies in place fur­ther exac­er­bate the prob­lem. A hope­ful solu­tion to the issue is a USDA fund to help the com­mu­ni­ty replace the cur­rent sep­tic tanks.

Mega Dam on Great Bend in China

In 2022, Pow­er Con­struc­tion Cor­po­ra­tion of Chi­na (Pow­erchi­na) announced its plan to build a mega dam along Yarlung Tsang­po Riv­er (Brahma­pu­tra Riv­er). The dam is esti­mat­ed to have 3 times the pow­er gen­er­a­tion as the Three Gorges Dam but it also goes along with many con­erns like dam­age to ecosys­tem, future flood poten­tial and geopol­i­tics con­flicts etc.

NEOM’s Shadow: The Dispossession of the Huwaitat People

In order to alle­vi­ate the traf­fic pres­sure of the Bospho­rus Canal, reduce the poten­tial risks of ships loaded with dan­ger­ous mate­ri­als, and pro­mote the country’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, Istan­bul Canal will be built con­nect­ing Mara­ma Sea and the Black Sea. How­ev­er this project will cause inse­cu­ri­ty for Rus­sia, upset envi­ron­men­tal sta­bil­i­ty, pol­lute fresh­wa­ter resources and deplete land for peo­ple’s living.