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EPA Expands Public Database by 6,300 Chemicals and 3,800 Facilities
WASHINGTON, DC, May 18, 2010 (ENS) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act to a public database called Envirofacts.

"The addition to Envirofacts will provide the American people with unprecedented access to information about chemicals that are manufactured in their communities," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

Owens says the additions add unprecedented public access to information on chemicals due to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's emphasis on public disclosure. This is another step EPA is taking to empower the public with information on chemicals in their communities," he said.

The Envirofacts database is EPA's single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data.

Visitors to the Envirofacts website can do a Multisystem Search that brings up information from a variety of databases and includes latitude and longitude information.
The Peters Cartridge Factory in Kings Mills, Ohio is a candidate for the Superfund List. Constructed in 1916 for manufacturing munitions, the contaminated site is now owned by Dupont. (Photo by Steph Landry)

Each of these databases contains information about facilities that are required to report activity to a state or federal system.

Using the Multisystem Search form, visitors can retrieve information about hazardous waste, toxic and air releases, Superfund sites, and water discharge permits.

Information in the Envirofacts system on each chemical facility includes facility name and address, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility, such as EPA's inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online, ECHO, database.

EPA now is adding historic facility information for another 2,500 facilities.

Envirofacts searches can yield information about accidents, spills, leaks, and past improper disposal and handling of hazardous materials and wastes that have resulted in tens of thousands of brownfield sites across the country with contaminated land, groundwater and surface water, and both indoor and outdoor air.

Among the many types of searches available through Envirofacts is a search of the Permit Compliance System. These searches can turn up information on companies that have been issued permits to discharge waste water into rivers. Visitors can review information on when a permit was issued and expires, how much the company is permitted to discharge, and the monitoring data showing what the company has discharged.

Hazardous waste generators, transporters, treaters, storers and disposers of hazardous waste are required to provide information on their activities to state environmental agencies. These agencies then provide the information to regional and national EPA offices through the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo) System. Information on cleaning up after accidents or other activities that result in a release of hazardous materials to the water, air or land must also be reported through RCRAInfo.

Hazardous waste information and much more is all searchable on the Envirofactswebsite.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2010. All rights reserved.



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