An Equity Model for Locating Environmentally Hazardous Facilities

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Geographical Analysis, ISSN: 0016-7363, Vol: 32, Issue: 4, Page: 351-368

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Falit-Baiamonte, Anthony; Osleeb, Jeffrey P.
article description
This paper develops a multiobjective mathematical location model to identify possible locations for environmentally hazardous facilities. Risk and equity are recognized as the most important criteria in determining site selection. In contrast to earlier models, the equity objective explicitly considers the existing distribution of environmental burdens when siting new hazardous facilities. Proposed environmentally hazardous facilities are located so that the burdens associated with new and existing hazards are shared as equally as possible among all areas. The application of the model, in a case study of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, illustrates the trade-offs associated with various risk and equity scenarios. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate how the existing distribution of environmental burdens may act as a constraint and limit the degree of equity that may be obtained when locating new facilities.