Environmental racism is the phenomenon where noxious industries are located in communities where people of color are disproportionately impacted. This is a distinct trend with many polluting industries, most notably trash incinerators. The largest and most polluting trash incinerators are almost exclusively in communities of color, and the industry in general disproportionately impacts people of color, especially Black residents.
It is not just because people are poor. Studies have documented that race is more of a factor than class in where trash incinerators and many other noxious industries are located. Most of Ocean City Maryland’s trash goes to the City of Chester, Pennsylvania, which is both low-income and mostly Black (over 68% of the population). Some also goes to Lorton, Virginia, which is above average income, but is one of the most diverse communities of color in the nation. Both communities suffer from an intense concentration of polluting industries, and Covanta’s trash incinerators in these communities is the largest of those polluters.
As this analysis shows, trash incinerators in the United States disproportionately impact people of color, and do so from distances ranging from one mile to over 100 miles from the incinerator sites. 80% of the nation’s largest trash incinerators are located in communities where people of color are disproportionately impacted. This racial disparity trend is not true for landfills in the region.
Ocean City Maryland does not recycle; boycott Ocean City Maryland because they are directly contributing to environmental racism.