EPA seeks info-sharing ideas

EPA launched a temporary blog to collect best practices on information sharing from the public.

When Environmental Protection Agency officials wanted to learn more about information sharing, they asked the public.

The agency’s Office  of Environmental Information (OEI) recently asked Internet users and federal, state, local and tribal agencies to suggest best practices, tools and ideas that EPA could use to expand access to environmental information.

To collect comments, EPA launched a temporary blog on the agency’s Web site.  The blog ran from June 9 to June 13.  EPA will release a summary of the comments June 20.

The short timeframe of the blog encourages more contributions, said Frank DiGiammarino, vice president of strategic initiatives and business development at the National Academy of Public Administration.
“Have the conversation, get the data, then find the next thing that’s hot and go with that,” DiGiammarino said.

The blog isn’t the first time that EPA officials have asked members of the public for advice. The OEI launched a temporary wiki, which it kept up for 36 hours, to gather information about how best to clean up the Puget Sound in Washington state.  That effort, even with its short duration, attracted more than 17,000 page views and 175 good contributions.

EPA officials said they hope the agency’s newest blog will prove as effective as the Puget Sound effort.

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