1 million searches ECHO through EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency's online database for facility compliance and enforcement information delivered more than 1 million search requests in its first year of operation.

The EPA's Enforcement and Compliance History Online database (ECHO) provides information on violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates the disposal of waste. Users can access information on the compliance status of local facilities regulated by those laws.

ECHO provides information on the agency's environmental inspections, findings of violations and enforcement actions at more than 800,000 facilities.

"Americans have been able to exercise their right to know what EPA is doing to protect their health and the environment," agency Administrator Mike Leavitt said. "Simply by entering ZIP code information on ECHO, people can obtain valuable, free information on protective enforcement and compliance actions taken near their homes, schools, playgrounds, hospitals or workplaces."

The program's pilot phase ended in August, and EPA officials have released the final version of ECHO. During testing, several changes were made to the site, such as doubling the number of facilities returned in a Web search, creating an ID list of facilities for automated monthly retrieval and adding a user's guide.

The agency also included an online error-reporting feature, and reported that less than 1 percent of facility reports were found to have compliance or enforcement data errors.

The ECHO database can be found at www.epa.gov/echo.

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