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College of Arts & Sciences
Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute

Effects of Hazardous Sites on Property Values in Richland County, South Carolina

Katie Field

Advisor:  Dr. Michael E. Hodgson



Many internal and external factors influence property value. Despite varying methodologies, a majority of the previous literature found that property value was significantly influenced by nearby hazards. In order to verify the findings of previous research, this study sought to examine the relationship between house value and proximity to a noxious site. To fulfill these goals, this study evaluated parcel-level data and four types of hazardous sites (U.S. EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory sites, U.S. EPA’s CERCLIS sites, U.S. EPA’s Biennial Reporting System sites and S.C. Department of Environmental Control’s municipal solid waste landfills) for Richland County, SC with multiple regression models. The examination revealed that at specific distances from the nearest noxious site, house value was significantly impacted by its proximity to the hazardous site. The findings suggested that within 2.5 miles of a hazardous site, house value increased between 2.1% and 3.7% per mile away from the noxious site. Although the relationship was not likely to occur by chance, it was found to be weak. The findings from this study were consistent with the findings of previous literature. However, since the majority of the previous literature did not consider the statistical strength of the relationship, this study suggests that this aspect should be taken into account in future studies.