This paper analyzes the effects of community pressure on the relocation of toxic-releasing facilities by using the public disclosure of toxic release information through the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) as a natural experiment. We find that facilities are more likely to relocate from communities with high population density, income, and educational attainment, whereas low wages, rent, and transportation amenities deter relocation. Facilities with emissions below reporting thresholds but expectations of emissions growth are more likely to relocate in anticipation of their inclusion in the TRI. Relocating facilities tend to move into communities with lower population density, income, and educational attainment, and this pattern is stronger for facilities whose scale of operations and emissions grows the most post-relocation. The spatial pattern of facility relocation provides indirect evidence that environmental information disclosure may unintentionally worsen environmental injustice because of differential effects of community pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-616
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2021


  • environmental injustice
  • relocation
  • toxic release inventory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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