Atlanta’s pollution issues mostly impact Black communities. In a new report published by The Guardian, Atlanta’s pollution is mostly relegated in areas that have been predominately Black for nearly a century.
The pollution is concentrated in areas that were redlined by the federal government starting in 1938. A map, sponsored by Home Owners Loan Corporation, identified neighborhoods with high Black populations as “hazardous place to underwrite mortgages.”
In turn, Blacks who did not have access to conventional home loans were forced to enter into contract sales that entailed steep interest rates and slumlords would pack multiple families into small dwellings.
Communities such as Vine City, English Avenue and Mechanicsville were impacted economically and lacked the resources in majority white communities in Atlanta.
The new data reveals that those same communities suffer from air pollution. According to the report, 68% Black residents and only 25% of white residents are currently impacted by air pollution.
Another area that suffers from pollution is College Park near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport which is also predominately Black.
In the ranking for “10 Worst Places To Live In US For Air Pollution,” Atlanta falls into 9th place. Bakersfield, California, South Los Angeles, and Chicago’s West and South Side are the top three cities in the nation.