Published: April 5, 2011

    Water on the Web

    EPA Water Quality ReportThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just released a tool that gives the public access to review actual water quality.

    This mapping tool will allow private citizens the opportunity to compare trends in water quality for the last two years. As an interactive, web-based platform, information seekers can find:

    • State-specific information
    • Data on facilities in violation of the Clean Water Act
    • What steps are being taken to protect public welfare by enforcing laws governing clean water

    According to the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Cynthia Giles, “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. 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.”

    This action is in direct response to a component of the EPA’s 2009 Clean Water Act that allows for public access to information about water monitoring as well as the compliance with those laws by any given state. It enables examination into everything from violations to enforcement to penalties incurred by violators.

    The EPA’s database, Enforcement and Compliance Online (ECHO), permits data searches for over 800,000 facilities with detail for every state, as well as information from the Environmental Protection Agency itself. This virtual dashboard offers a wealth of information and the ability to consistently track what’s going on in your own backyard.