Band-aids are for cuts, not scars: Are Parks Along Newtown Creek a Pollution Solution, or Another Problem?
The following data analysis summary is the result of information pulled from the EPA’s environmental justice screening and mapping website (EJSCREEN). The overall goal of this website is to allow people to have access to environmental pollution information for any regional or non-regional areas. The regional area I decided to indicate was Newtown Creek, which runs through mostly Brooklyn and Queens in New York City. With pollution being the forever issue of the creek, it is full of toxic waste, sewage, PCB’s, oil, and much more.
I decided to use a 0.5 buffer along the entire creek when collecting my information. The information and data I collected provided water pollution, air pollution, traffic, and demographics that shows the gentrification happening around the creek. Acknowledging those affected by percentile gives a better visual for communities so they can see they are not the only ones experiencing injustice. Injustice in the sense that pollution, toxin levels, and population are on the rise all while waiting for solutions to these global issues. It is imperative for data to be collected and action to be taken to serve these underrepresented communities.
The Environmental Indicators that are important have to deal with the ozone, human respiratory system, wastewater discharge, and the superfund site itself….. According to the data, about 50% of the population are affected by Ozone pollution. The Ozone pollution is essential because it represents the amount of pollutants that affect the ozone. At a ground level this correlates with Newtown Creek’s pollutants because the toxins evaporates up into the ozone affecting the surrounding air quality which will later play a role in the data found in the demographic indicators. Also, more than 90% of the population is affected by NATA Respiratory HI*. This supports the ozone data because it is a representation of how harmful this pollution is to the human respiratory system. Around 90% of the population is also affected by Superfund Proximity and wastewater discharge. Wastewater discharges contain pollutants that prevent access to water. Along with the previous pollutants, contaminated water is harmonious to the human population and creates limitations on cooking, cleaning, and etc.
The Demographic indicators that correlate with the environmental factors are the minority, low income, and linguistically isololated populations. These demographics correlate with the environment because it gives possible reasons as to why this type of pollution occurs and still exists today. More than 50% of the people are a part of the minority population, approximately 30% of the people are considered low income, and more than 70% of the population are considered linguistically isolated. This correlates with previous information because it gives some background information as to why this area is not noticed more outside of Brooklyn and Queens. Also, explains how pollution could have gotten the way it is outside of the Exxon oil spill.
Both indicator sectors have concluded that the environment and demographic go hand in hand with one another. Through this observation of data I have discovered that even though the majority of the industrial businesses within this industrial area have been relocated or shut down due to New York’s attempt to deindustrialize these areas, it is still very much populated and polluted by factories. These factories play a role in the pollution of air and water. The foundation of Brooklyn and Queens also play individual roles as well because of the crippling sewage systems and impromptu way of disposing of hazardous waste. Even though the 0.5 buffer placed along the Newtown Creek shows that these areas are populated by a lot of linguistically challenged minorities it explains how information may be slipping between the gaps when informing communities.
KEYWORDS: Data, Pollution, Gentrification, Environmental, Demographics, Newtown Creek