During the last decade, the United Nations and other international organizations have been struggling with the issue of hazardous waste exportation to developing countries. At the same time, the United States has been grappling with environmental racism. However, critics of both hazardous waste exportation and environmental racism have overlooked their similarities, namely, that hazardous waste exportation and environmental racism place a disproportionate burden on the same classes of people, the poor and minorities. The exportation of hazardous waste to developing countries is essentially environmental racism on an international scale.
This Note briefly explains the history and economic motivations behind hazardous waste exportation and environmental racism. Several key international agreements and current U.S. policy are analyzed to determine their effectiveness in reducing the export of hazardous waste to developing nations. In comparison, studies suggesting a link between race, income, and the location of hazardous waste facilities in the United States are outlined, along with current U.S. policy on environmental racism. The Note concludes that the similarities between the two problems should enable opponents of both to join forces to reduce hazardous waste generation and to advocate the equitable location of hazardous waste facilities.
Hugh J. Marbury,
Hazardous Waste Exportation: The Global Manifestation of Environmental Racism,
28 Vanderbilt Law Review
Available at: https://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/vjtl/vol28/iss2/3