Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Nikoi Kote-Nikoi


Extensive studies within the U.S. show that low-income and minority communities are routinely targeted by the federal government and private industry to be the dumping grounds for hazardous waste and to host polluting industrial development facilities. In October 1994, then President Bill Clinton passed Executive Order (EO) 12898. This was the first time the executive branch of the United States government publicly addressed the issue of environmental discrimination within its ranks. The executive order mandated federal agencies to address environmental discrimination in their activities affecting the health of humans and the environment.

Hazardous waste is an inevitable byproduct of industrial development. Hospitals, military complexes, research laboratories, landfills, industrial farms and nuclear power plants are a few of many facilities that release man-made toxic chemicals into the environment. Oil and gas drilling, mining, construction, manufacturing, transportation and waste production are additional activities that significantly contribute to the levels of hazardous waste around the world.

This capstone paper identifies environmental policies that directly address environmental discrimination and analyzes the ability of federal agencies to enforce and regulate these policies. It draws lessons from the experiences of people, in Alaska, working at the community level to address environmental discrimination. It is intended to provide community-based organizations in Alaska with an initial policy analysis of environmental justice in the United States.


Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Natural Resource Economics | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Water Resource Management


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