A screen capture of maps from the UIC School of Public Health's study on environmental justice and public schools shows disparities in the impact of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites on schools and Latino students.

UIC Scientists Publish Final Study Draft, Environmental Justice Maps

Published May 19, 2021

The research team from the University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC)'s School of Public Health has published the final draft version of their study of environmental justice impacts on Chicago's Southwest Side alongside a series of interactive maps that illustrate disparities in Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites' distances to schoolchildren.

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As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, the "Environmental Justice and Neighborhood Schools in Chicago, Illinois" study breaks new ground in studying and measuring environmental justice by formulating well-qualified new metrics that employ verifiable public data. Its research team includes Professor Michael Cailas and UIC researchers Joel Flax-Hatch and Apostolis Sambanis.

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In July 2020, the team released its first findings on the locations of TRI sites on the Southwest Side, including in the McKinley Park neighborhood, alongside analysis of City of Chicago planning that portended more industry moving in to locations already dense with commercial and industrial businesses.

Quantify, Not Document

Cailas clarified an earlier statement to note the uniqueness of the team's quantification of environmental justice measures. "In the literature, many try to 'document' ... quantification is very rare," Cailas said.

The series of interactive maps just released by the UIC researchers illustrate the study's core findings by community area, including the density of the Latino student population, the relative burden of TRI sites for schools and a bivariate map showing relative TRI burden according to Latino student population.

The "Environmental Justice and Public Schools in Chicago, Illinois," interactive maps illustrate environmental justice study data from the research team at the UIC School of Public Health.

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