Recently, location data regarding the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) in South Korea was released to the public. This study investigated the spatial patterns of TRIs and releases of toxic substances in all 230 local governments in South Korea to determine whether spatial clusters relevant to the siting of noxious facilities occur. In addition, we employed spatial regression modeling to determine whether the number of TRI facilities and the volume of toxic releases in a given community were correlated with the community's socioeconomic, racial, political, and land use characteristics. We found that the TRI facilities and their toxic releases were disproportionately distributed with clustered spatial patterning. Spatial regression modeling indicated that jurisdictions with smaller percentages of minorities, stronger political activity, less industrial land use, and more commercial land use had smaller numbers of toxic releases, as well as smaller numbers of TRI facilities. However, the economic status of the community did not affect the siting of hazardous facilities. These results indicate that the siting of TRI facilities in Korea is more affected by sociopolitical factors than by economic status. Racial issues are thus crucial for consideration in environmental justice as the population of Korea becomes more racially and ethnically diverse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law