EPA uses Web 2.0 to clean up the environment


Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency traveled to Lacey, Wash. Jan. 28 on two missions — to help clean up Puget Sound and demonstrate the tangible benefits of Web 2.0 tools.

EPA presented contributions that nonprofits, corporations and government agencies made to the “Puget Sound Information Challenge” wiki at a conference last November where participants were asked to contribute information that could help groups working to clean up Puget Sound.

In the two days that the Web page was up during the 2007 Environmental Information Symposium, the Web 2.0 application garnered more than 18,000 page views, 175 entries with everything from documents to decision support systems and a significant volume of e-mail. EPA also offered a phone number that people could call, but officials say they never got a phone call.

Molly O’Neill, EPA’s chief information officer, said the results got a favorable response from the Puget Sound Leadership Council, an organization that is trying to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to clean and restore the waterway.

EPA officials say that the willingness of people to contribute everything from documents to decision support systems illustrates the benefits of using mass-collaboration tools.

O’Neill said EPA had forwarded the results to the CIO Executive Council.

“Instead of a standard conference…it showed what could be done,” she said. “Rather than showing what could be possible, we wanted to do something more dynamic, we didn’t want to do something pretend.”

The Puget Sound Leadership Council is led by former EPA Administrator Bill Ruckelshaus.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.