U.S. EPA Maps Enforcement Actions
By Andy Bowman, Attorney, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP
U.S. EPA has rolled out a new interactive map which shows facilities subject to federal and state enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by state. The map is available on U.S. EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) web service at www.epa-echo.gov. The map allows users to easily see the frequency of enforcement actions in each state. The color-coded map shows different shadings for each state based on the number of enforcement cases. A user can zoom in on a flagged facility to view detailed information about the facility and the enforcement case. Data is updated monthly.
To try out the map, I looked at how Indiana stacks up to its neighboring states for fiscal year 2011, which ended September 30. Here is what I found:
|No. of Enforcement Actions|
All but one of the 126 Indiana cases are shown as state enforcement actions. Louisiana has the highest number of cases at 531 and North Dakota is at the bottom (or top, depending on your view) at zero. Alaska and Hawaii are not shown on the map.
You can filter the enforcement cases by media (air, water or waste), state or federal cases and year. The map is a bit over-sensitive and sometimes will zoom wildly when passing the cursor over a state. Adobe Flash player is required to show the map, which means the map will not be available on certain mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. Other than these minor problems, this new map feature provides a convenient means of monitoring enforcement activity in your state as well as checking how enforcement activity compares from state to state.