8,000 U.S. Public Schools Located Near Sources of Pollution

Schools tend to get built on cheap land. Cheap land is often found near busy roadways—sources of pollutants that are harmful to the health of children.

1 minute read

February 21, 2017, 1:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Nearly 8,000 U.S. public schools lie within 500 feet of highways, truck routes and other roads with significant traffic," reports Jamie Smith Hopkins, who is sharing the findings of a joint investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Put another way, "[t]hat’s about one in every 11 public schools, serving roughly 4.4 million students and spread across every state in the nation."

According to Smith Hopkins, schools across the country continue to be located neat polluting roadways despite warnings against the practice. In fact, "[n]early one in five schools that opened in the 2014-2015 school year, the most recent the federal government has fully tracked, was built by a busy road."

The article also notes that the state of California and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have provided leadership on the ensuring healthier air for school environments. For instance, the U.S. EPA released the "Best Practices for Reducing Near Road Pollution Exposure at Schools" in 2015.

Friday, February 17, 2017 in The Center for Public Integrity

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