WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on March 24 updated data and a mapping tool designed to help the public compare water quality trends over the last two years. The web-based, interactive map includes “state dashboards” that provide detailed information for each state, including information on facilities that are violating the Clean Water Act and the actions states are taking to enforce the law and protect people’s health.
“Access to environmental information that is easy-to-use is the cornerstone of our commitment to transparency and engaging the public in a meaningful and productive way,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The release of today’s tool removes traditional barriers that have limited access to Clean Water Act information and helps improve public awareness of the important work that remains in protecting our nation’s waters.”
The state dashboards incorporate data for both large and small sources of water pollution, along with the latest information from EPA’s 2009 Annual Noncompliance Report. The public can examine and compare information on the inspections conducted by both EPA and the state in their region, violations and enforcement actions in their communities over the past two years and the penalties levied in response to violations.
In 2009, EPA announced the Clean Water Act action plan to improve Clean Water Act permitting, enforcement, information collection and public access to compliance and monitoring information. The state dashboards are a part of the action plan and are designed to provide information on Clean Water Act violators and government’s response.
EPA’s enforcement and compliance transparency tools are recognized as a model for open government and improving how government operates. EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Online (ECHO) database provides fast, integrated searches of EPA and state data for more than 800,000 regulated facilities, including information on inspections, violations and enforcement actions.