Vulnerable Population Proximity to Hazardous Sites

This map shows an analysis of vulnerable population locations and their proximity to hazardous sites in King County.



An advocacy group for Environmental Justice has arranged for an analysis of vulnerable population locations in relation to hazardous pollution. The group wanted to know whether these vulnerable populations bear more of the burden of these hazardous locations. These vulnerable populations are those who make below 200% of the poverty line and non-white minorities.


The analysis of this data first required obtaining census data and locations of hazardous sites in King County. Once the data had been obtained, the tables could be joined together in order to facilitate analysis. Then an areal weighted interpolation could be utilized in order to estimate populations within range of the buffers around each of the hazardous site locations. The analysis also required removing lakes, rivers, and water bodies from consideration since no population should be shown in these areas.

Results and Significance

The results of the analysis show that there are certainly some important environmental justice aspects to how hazardous sites are located, and where people who are vulnerable are able to live. This analysis would prove useful to the environmental justice group that commissioned it, but it might also help inform the planning and locating of future hazardous sites and low income housing.