Hazardous Waste Sites, Local
Communities, and Census Data
Background Studies |
1990 Census |
Census Updates |
Health Data |
Last updated on March 22, 1999
Environmental Justice is the belief that all people, regardless of
race, ethnicity, or economic standing, deserve to live, work, and play in
a healthy environment. -- Environmental Justice Group, the University of
- List of Waste Sites
- Census Data, Current and Historical
- Mapping Program
- Health Data
- Lobbying Contacts
BACKGROUND ON THE
- 1. United States General Accounting Office. Hazardous and
Nonhazardous Waste: Demographics
of People Living Near Waste Facilities RCED 95-84.
- Special survey of municipal waste sites conducted in 1995. Report
includes statistics. Concludes that there is no difference in population
living near non-hazardous landfills but minorities tend to live near
hazardous landfills. More research needed on health effects of hazardous
landfills on minorities. Additional GAO Reports available through
- 2. University of Michigan Environmental Justice Group. http://www.umich.edu/~umej/
- Numerous links to environmental justice web sites. Conference program
for its March 26-28, 1999 workshop.
IDENTIFYING WASTE SITES
Street maps of waste
sites, street addresses and zip codes are important for tracking sub-county
- 3. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (EPA). http://www.epa.gov/enviro/html/tris/tris_overview.html
- Search by name of facility, address (zip code, county and state) or chemical to obtain list of information the amount of pollution generated by type of pollution. By going back to the main page, you can order a complete map with street names and
facility information. For the most part, it is easier to use the Chemical Scorecard
- 4. Chemical Scorecard/Environmental Defense Fund (http://www.scorecard.org/ranking/
- Ranks states, counties and zip codes by amount of chemical
pollution. The top 100 counties and zip codes are ranked for both the
U.S. and individual states. Click on area to obtain data on pollution by chemical or health effect. Includes maps of an area and
reports on individual polluters. Lists street address and zip code
of facility. Example of
- 5. Superfund National Priorities List http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm
- EPA's priorities for toxic waste cleanup. Click on state maps to
identify concentrations of polluters. Example. By clicking on a symbol,
you can obtain background information on the polluter. You can also
search the data by address, zip code, or type of problem. The resulting
maps (example) provide
streets but not street names. Links to the individual polluter.
- 6. State Environmental Agencies. http://www.caprep.com/stagency.htm
Comprehensive listing of state environmental agencies, arranged by state.
State agencies may have maps of waste sites.
- 7. MapQuest. http://www.mapquest.com/
- Identify detailed street maps by address, zip code, county or city.
Includes industrial parks. Example
- 8. Maps On Us. http://www.mapsonus.com/
- Detailed street mapping and directions. Clear street names. If
the National Priorities List hasn't given you a street address, you can
search the Yellow Pages for the address, zip
code, and a brief map. Example of city map.
Large university and public libraries usually have
specialists in geography, maps, and computerized mapping (GIS). CD-ROM
mapping programs often have a combination of environmental
identifiers as well as census mapping.
- 9. Using ArcView for Mapping Hazardous Waste Sites and Census
- Written by Kristi Jensen, University of Michigan Library, 1999. Most
sophisticated commercial program for mapping environmental and census
variables. Not all libraries will own.
- 10. A Brief Guide to Landview III. http://www.library.umass.edu/govdocs/cdguides/lviiiguide.html
- Written by Julie Linden, University of Massachusetts, 1998.
Government mapping program specifically meant for tracking environmental
and population data. Includes street names of Census tract and
block group boundaries. Available at many federal depository libraries.
Example of Block Group
CENSUS OF POPULATION
|Household relationship||Number of units in structure|
|Sex||Number of rooms in unit|
|Race||Tenure (owned or rented) |
|Age||Value of home|
|Marital status||Rent paid|
|Hispanic origin||Vacancy characteristics|
|... ||Congregate housing|
|School enrollment||Year structure
|Educational attainment||Year moved into residence|
|State or foreign country of birth||Source of water|
|Citizenship and year of immigration||Sewage disposal|
|Language spoken at home||Heating fuel|
|Ancestry||Plumbing and kitchen facilities|
|Place of residence 5 years ago||Number of bedrooms|
|Veteran status||Farm residence|
|Place of work||Condominium status|
|Journey to work||Shelter costs, including|
|Year last worked||Utilities|
|Class of worker||...|
|Work experience in 1989||...|
|Income/poverty in 1989||...|
|Labor force status||...|
Key factors to research: race, the elderly, poverty,
home value, ability to speak English, migration, vacancy rates. The
Census does not cover deaths in a given year or individual
Notes on the data:
- Races are white, black, Asian, American Indian and other.
- Hispanic is not a race so is usually covered in a separate table.
- Labor force participation includes people who have jobs or want them.
Reasons for not participating in the labor force include age, disability,
family matters, retirement, school enrollment, etc.
- Unemployment is calculated by dividing the people who want jobs but
don't have them by the labor force.
- Income is calculated for households (families, people living alone,
people living together but not related), families (related by blood or
marriage), individuals, and per capita (including children).
- Median = half below level and half above level; mean = average.
- Poverty rates are calculated by the Census Bureau using the family
income and size of the family.
See also a Map Example
Finding Census Data
Census Data for 1990 is available in libraries in
paper and CD-ROM format. It is also on the internet through the
Census CD-ROM Lookup (http://venus.census.gov/cdrom/lookup/
However, you MAY need to use a library for Census tract maps. Older censuses are only in paper in libraries. A listing of federal depository libraries which maintain paper copies of the Census appears at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/dpos/ldirect.html.
- 11. 1990 Census of Population.
- General Population Characteristics provides
the most detail on age, race, sex, marital status, and household relationship.
There is one report for each state with data for states, counties, cities and
townships. Social and Economic Characteristics has
state reports with data for the state, counties, and cities of 2500+.
It details education, occupation, employment, industry, commuting, disability,
income, poverty, foreign born, ability to speak English, ethnicity, and
residence five years ago. Example
of Table Finding Guide
- 12. 1990 Census of Housing.
- General Housing Characteristics provides owner v.
renter occupancy, vacancy rates, housing value, and rent paid. There is
one report for each state with data for counties and places of 1000+.
Detailed Housing Characteristics covers age of homes,
mortgage characteristics, rent as a percent of income, sewage, fuels,
telephone availability. There is one report for each state with data for
places of 2500+. Example of Table
- 13. 1990 Census of Population and Housing. Census Tracts.
- One report for each Metropolitan Statistical Area with 100% and
sample data for the metro area, counties, large cities, and individual census tracts. Includes age, race, marital status, income, poverty, education, language, housing value or
rent, age of homes, commuting, and residence five years ago.
Separate tables repeat data for race if more than 400 people of that
race live in a given census tract. Example of Table. A table
finding guide identifies individual pages.
- To use the reports effectively, it is necessary to identify a census tract number of interest. This can be done in several ways:
- 14. Summary Tape File 3A CD-ROM.
- Both population and housing variables for states, counties, cities and townships, census tracts, and block groups. Available at most federal depository libraries but essentially the same as the Census CD-ROM Lookup.
- 15. Census CD-ROM Lookup. http://venus.census.gov/cdrom/lookup
- 250 population and housing variables for states, counties, cities, census tracts and block groups available through Summary Tape File 3A. Summary Tape File 3B has similar data for zip codes.
Steps for Census Tract Data:
- Choose Summary Tape File 3A
- Choose State/County AND Michigan. Submit.
- Choose State/County/Tract AND Wayne County. Submit.
- Choose Area Selected Below AND census tract
numbers. Submit twice.
- Choose variables and SUBMIT.
- Choose output (HTML, spreadsheet, etc.)
- 16. CIESIN Mapping Service. http://plue.sedac.ciesin.org/plue/ddviewer/
Basic Mapping Steps: (Non-Java)
- Choose state and submit.
- Choose county and submit.
- At minimum, choose geographic level and
variable; name the map; submit
- "Attribute List" is the raw data in
"Gif" is the actual map
Java 3.0: (Identifies Tract Number and Data)
- Choose State/Get Counties
- Select county/get tract
- Select subject area/select individual variable/close
- Submit job
- Click on tract to identify number and get data
- 17. Census CD+Maps
- CD-ROM has 1990 data for census tracts and block groups in all 50 states. Also provides mapping.
Basic Block Group Mapping
- Click on Area/Geographic Area/Census Tracts
- Choose State/County/Tract Numbers
- Click on SubArea and choose Block Groups
- Click on Counts/Tailored
- Choose subject from top and bottom of screen
- Click on Run/DBF File
- Click on Run/Maps
- See Census
CD+Maps Guide or Map
of Wyandotte area
HISTORIC CENSUS DATA
- 18. Historic Census Data.
- Data prior to 1990 is primarily available in paper copy at federal depository libraries. See above for lists of libraries. The structure is similar to 1990: a Census of Population, a Census of Housing, and Census Tract reports.
- Special notes
- There is no readily-available block group data prior to 1990.
- Census tracts are often redefined or renumbered. You need to look at the maps for each Census. Usually the printed tract volume will provide comparability with previous censuses.
- Household income was a new concept in 1980. Family income was commonly used through 1970.
- Until 1980, races in tables were listed as White, Negro, and other.
- Poverty was a new concept in 1970.
- It is extremely important to compare economic data (a city, a tract)
with the county and state to adjust for inflation. You can also adjust
for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (http://stats.bls.gov/cpihome.htm but it is much less accurate. The average salary in 1950 was $3400. The inflation rate (442%) suggests a 1990 salary of $15,000 but the average salary was actually $33
Most Census data is updated by marketing firms at the zip code or city level. The Census Bureau updates total population counts for cities; age, race and sex for counties and states.
- 19. CACI Sourcebook of Demographics for Every Zip Code
- Annual estimates and projections of households, race, age,
sex, and household income for zip codes.
- 20. Demographics USA
- Current population estimates and projections, occupation,
employment by industry, and sales. States, cities, and zip codes.
- 21. Editor and Publisher Market Guide
- Current population, number of households, age, per capita
income, and household income for cities, metropolitan
areas and counties with daily newspapers.
- 22. Census Bureau Web Site
Total population estimates for places but most other data
at national and state level only.
Social and Demographic Characteristics
Housing and Household Economics
- 23. American Factfinder.
- The Year 2000 Population Census and the 1997 Economic
Censuses will be distributed primarily on the Internet. Three
approaches: pre-tabulated data, data extraction, and microdata
- 24. Vital Statistics of the United States
- Annual printed publication with the latest edition 1992. Volume 2B provides death statistics by over 70 causes for counties and cities of 10,000+. It is important to compare your county population size with Census data.
- More current county data may be available from state health departments.
The National Center for Health Statistics
- 25. American Hospital Directory. http://www.ahd.com/
- Includes Medicare data on disease treated by type for individual
- 26. Local Sources
- Interviews with neighborhood residents may be the best way to spot
hidden problems, such as a large number of rare childhood cancers.
Another alternative would be local newspaper files. Editor and Publisher
identifies newspapers and provides web links when available.
- 27. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/
- Describes toxic substances and their health effects. Searchable by substance, geography, and individual site.
- 28. Environmental Defense Fund. http://www.scorecard.org/health-effects/
- Arranged by health effects (e.g. cardiovascular disease) with a list of toxicants causing the problem.
- 29. Superfund Community Tools. http://www.epa.gov/superfund/tools/index.htm
- Describes how communities can become involved in cleaning up Superfund sites.
- 30. Environmental Defense Fund. http://www.scorecard.org/ranking/
- Provides a list of environmental groups, government officials, volunteer, and networking opportunities under each state, county, zip code, or facility where a toxic problem exists.
- 31. State Environmental Agencies. http://www.caprep.com/stagency.htm
Comprehensive listing of state environmental agencies, arranged by state.
State agencies may have maps of waste sites.
- 32. Contacting the Congress. http://www.visi.com/juan/congress
- Most updated directory of Congresspersons and committee assignments.
Includes district as well as Washington offices, e-mail and fax numbers.
- 33. Federal Telephone Directories. http://www.info.gov/fed_directory/phone.shtml
- Telephone numbers of federal agencies and links to their online
directories. This can be supplemented by a list of agency web sites
through Louisiana State University, http://www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/fedgov.html
- Use the Chemical
Scorecard, http://www.scorecard.org/ranking to obtain the street address of pollution site
- Search the street address in the Federal Financial
Institutions Examination Council Geocode List, http://www.ffiec.gov/geocode/,
to obtain the census tract number.
- Use the CIESIN MAPPING SERVICE Java Version 3.0, http://plue.sedac.ciesin.org/plue/ddviewer/ to
map the census tracts. Note that this program identifies the tract
number and data if you click on a tract.
- Go back to the Chemical
Scorecard, http://www.scorecard.org/ranking for
toxicity information and local lobbying contacts.
Grace York, Coordinator, Documents Center
The University of Michigan Library
Since March 14, 1999 this page has been accessed
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