The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun providing direct Web access to the current environmental compliance record of more than 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide.
EPA provides online
ECHO, or Enforcement and Compliance History Online, provides detailed facility reports, which include federal and state compliance inspections; environmental violations; recent formal enforcement actions taken; and a demographic profile of the surrounding area.
The information is available on a trial basis for the next two months, and the EPA is asking for public feedback on how to make it more useful, said John Peter Suarez, EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance.
"We believe that ECHO will significantly increase public awareness of information about environmental compliance," Suarez said.
Although all the information on ECHO was previously available to the public, the easy-to-use Web tool integrates EPA and state compliance information for facilities regulated under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Data reports are updated monthly and cover a two-year period.
ECHO was developed in partnership with the Environmental Council of the States, a national association of state environmental commissioners.
The Web site is www. epa.gov/echo. More about ECHO and details regarding the 60-day comment period are published in the Federal Register at www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/index.html.
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