Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EPA Launches Online ECHO Database to Help Public Find Clean Drinking Water

The USEPA has launched a new searchable online database to help the public determine if their community meets federal clean drinking water standards.  The database, called ECHO, was developed by EPA along with state governments and "allows users to find inspection, violation, enforcement action, informal enforcement action, and penalty information about facilities for the past three years."

ECHO focuses on facility compliance and EPA/state enforcement of environmental regulations. Though the data included within ECHO have been in the public domain through Freedom of Information Act requests and mainframe computer subscription, the information was not available in a searchable Web format. ECHO makes it much easier for the public to obtain these data records on the Internet. 

Facilities regulated under the following environmental statutes are included in the ECHO database:
  • Clean Air Act (CAA) Stationary Source Program, 
  • Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES), 
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and 
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

The interface integrates the data from a variety of EPA databases.  ECHO includes "a snapshot of a facility’s environmental record, showing dates and types of violations, as well as the state or federal government’s response."  

Access to the ECHO database and more information can be found here.

More information about the data that are included can be found here.

No comments: