International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Environmental Injustice in the Spatial Distribution of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations: A Case Study from Ohio, USA

Document Type

Article

Abstract

In 2011, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) produced 500 million tons of manure in the United States, causing surface water contamination, toxic gas emissions, and reduced quality of life for surrounding residents. Historically, CAFOs have been disproportionately sited near communities with large populations of minority groups, low-income families, and vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, and the number of CAFOs in the midwestern U.S. is growing. This study uses the Moran's I and Getis Ord Gi* statistics to explore the spatial distribution of CAFOs in the state of Ohio, which experienced a 6.5% decrease in the number of livestock producing farms and a 28% increase in the number of animals per farm from 2000 to 2007. A two-T ailed t-T est was used to compare the mean demographic profiles in CAFO-dense census tracts to tracts without CAFOs. The study finds that Ohio CAFOs are primarily clustered along the western border of the state, and that black and Hispanic populations, as well as households with relatively low incomes, are disproportionately exposed to CAFOs compared to other populations. These populations may be highly exposed to environmental risks resulting from CAFO waste production, and likely experience reduced quality of life as a result of CAFO proximity. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.

Publication Title

Environmental Justice

Publication Date

8-1-2013

Volume

6

Issue

4

First Page

133

Last Page

139

ISSN

1939-4071

DOI

10.1089/env.2013.0023

Keywords

Ohio, USA, environmental injustice, animal feeding, quality of life, water pollution, poor communities

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