BP Waste Oil Spill Waste Disposal Correction
August 24, 2010 – A recent study from the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University reported that over 60 percent of the BP oil spill waste was being disposed in communities of color in landfills in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. One of the nine approved landfills (Tidewater Landfill in Venice, LA) was geocoded incorrectly in the study. This error was caused by an inconsistency between the digital map and the stored address list. Although the change in location was less than 2/3 of a mile, the correction altered the data results for this landfill. The correct percent minority residents living within a one-mile radius of the Tidewater Landfill should be 37.6 percent. These corrected data now show that four of the nine approved landfills (44.4 percent) that had received BP waste as of July 15, 2010 were located in communities of color. And of the 39,448 tons of BP waste disposed at the nine landfills, 21,867 tons (55.4 percent) were disposed in communities of color. These corrected findings continue to show that communities of color in the Gulf Coast are overrepresented in communities where BP oil-spill is being disposed. People of color make up about 26 percent of the coastal counties in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The data also show that six of the nine landfills are located in areas where the percentage of people of color is larger than the people of color percent in the corresponding county. The waste dumped at these six approved landfills amounts to more than 80 percent of the total BP waste disposed.