Are levels of environmental risk higher in low income and minority areas of the City?

Environmental justice is a movement promoting the fair treatment of people of all races, income, and culture with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Fair treatment means that no person or group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental impacts. The environmental justice movement is also occasionally referred to as Environmental Equity -- which EPA defines as the equal treatment of all individuals, groups or communities regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status, so that everyone is equally protected from environmental risks (EPA website,

A good way to find "disproportionate environmental risk" in the city is to compare the maps of environmental problems to the maps of income level or minority populations. There are a number of maps included in this book that show the distribution of environmental problems in the City. The following is an index of Maps to compare with Maps 1 & 2 below

  1. Percent of Population Non-White
  2. Per Capita Income
  3. Tree Canopy Coverage
  4. Housing Code Violations
  5. Environmental Violations
  6. Openspace
  7. Urban Rivers
  8. Lead Poisoning
  9. Asthma
  10. Brownfields
  11. Noise Complaints
  12. Housing Code Violations


Kristi Rea - Urban Environmental Initiative, New England Region, EPA. (617) 918-1595

The UEI has worked in Providence since 1995 identifying projects and providing resources to projects that improve public health and quality of life for residents in Providence.


Provide more funding to community groups

interested in addressing environmental justice topics.

Increase collaboration and partnerships between groups

working on environmental justice and equity issues.

Develop and circulate a contact list for the public.