Assessment of spatial disparities in the burden of underground storage tanks in Maryland (2001-2011)


The presence of leaking underground storage tanks (LUST) may present environmental justice (EJ) concerns including groundwater contamination for communities with a number of USTs, other environmental hazards, and poor infrastructure. The purpose of this study is to assess ten years of residential LUST exposure data in Maryland across areas with varying sociodemographic composition. Methods: We linked ten years of site-specific LUST remediation data with 2010 Census data. Simple linear regression was conducted using R to predict increases in proximity to LUSTs based on independent sociodemographic variables as well as diversity and deprivation indices. Results: Consistently, across the state, census tracts with a higher composition of white residents demonstrated more resistance to decaying distance between adjacent LUSTs (Beta=0.003; p<0.05) than census tracts with higher composition of non-white (Beta=-0.003; p<0.05) and similar trends for % poverty, % < than high school (HS) education, % homes built before 1950, % black in poverty, and % black less than HS education (Beta=-0.012,-0.011,-0.006,-0.014,-0.015,-0.046, respectively, with p<0.05 in all these tests). Conclusion: Overall, results presented here show that the sociodemographic patterns related to race/ethnicity, poverty status, neighborhood, and dwelling measures tend to be associated with residential distance from one or more LUSTs. © 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Publication Title

Environmental Justice