Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maps! Maps! Maps!

EPA Water Pollution and Enforcement Maps of NJ & NY Paint an Interesting Picture

EPA’s “ECHO” initiative (for “Enforcement and Compliance History Online”) has finalized a new series of interactive maps and datasets to help YOU, the ordinary citizen, visualize how our water laws, regulations, and protections are enforced.

These maps are searchable, you can zoom into your neighborhood, and color-coded for easy interpretations. 

For instance, take the “State Dashboard” for New Jersey and New York.

These maps let you see which facilities were inspected, given violations, subject to enforcement, and issued penalties.   Also, you can search in specific ZIP Codes to see all the problems around your house.

There’s also a combined Air/Water/Waste enforcement maps (complete with 2011 data).  Each bubble on the map (representing an enforcement action of some type) can be clicked on and a link to the EPA or State page with more information appears.  The home page for these enforcement maps shows the number of violations in 2011; apparently Louisiana (439 violations), NY (416), and California (296) were the states home to the most Air/Water/Waste violations!

Here’s the map for the 07732 ZIP – home to Clean Ocean Action (on Sandy Hook):

EPA (blue) and State (purple) enforcement actions for water (triangle) and waste (circle) violations (2011 data).

For an “Annual Noncompliance report” map – to compare, with ease, States against other states, click here.  Check out the map for NJ’s general water statistics which shows that, in 2009, NJ assessed around $2.4 million in penalties on 67 violations (out of 98 total violations):

Data for number of facilities in New Jersey, number with violations, and number of enforcement actions.

The EPA’s recently re-done “EJ Map” (for Environmental Justice) lets you map a variety of things from streams and rivers with water quality below standards to Superfund and brownfield sites or recent toxic spills.  Click here for the EJ Map and play around with the features to get a good idea of what’s happening in your neighborhood.

The most recent Map, the “Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Pollutant Loading Tool” lets you compare sources of pollution state-by-state, so you can see, for instance, that New York has fewer wastewater treatment facilities that violated their limits for “priority pollutants” (31) than Pennsylvania (62), but more than New Jersey (26) in 2010.

For other EPA Maps, go to their ECHO map portal here.

No comments:

Post a Comment