EPA network progresses

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency expect that 35 states will be part of the Environmental Information Exchange Network by year's end.

Some states will gain network connectivity by next week, said Kim Nelson, the EPA's chief information officer. She spoke Sept. 21 at the Enterprise Architecture conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by FCW Events.

Officials from the EPA and 13 states currently have network-connected nodes enabling them to overlay cross-jurisdiction datasets by running information through a data exchange template. The Central Data Exchange -- the agency's Web portal -- is the EPA node on the network. Creating a real-time data warehouse of environmental indicators is an agency goal, Nelson said.

Setting up the network has taken longer than expected, Nelson said. "Some of the Web services, tools...have been challenging to implement, and we're experiencing interoperability issues," she said. Still, those are "minor bumps in the road" and not major challenges.

The EPA's data exchange network node is its most visible enterprise architecture project. Cost/benefit analyses of the information exchange network show projected savings of $19.7 million over the next five years for federal, state, local and tribal governments.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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