From: Andy Soos, ENN
Published May 18, 2010 01:18 PM

EPA Envirofacts

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts. The Envirofacts database is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility.

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Envirofacts collects information from a variety of databases and includes latitude and longitude information. Each of these databases contains information about facilities that are required to report activity to a state or federal system. Using this form, you can retrieve information about hazardous waste (including the Biennial Report), toxic and air releases, Superfund sites, and water discharge permits. Facility information and a map of its location is provided.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)of 1976 provides EPA with authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and restrictions relating to chemical substances and/or mixtures. Certain substances are generally excluded from TSCA, including, among others, food, drugs, cosmetics and pesticides.

EPA has tried to increase the public’s access to chemical information including reducing confidentiality claims by industry and making the public portion of the TSCA inventory available free of charge on the agency’s Web site. EPA intends to take additional actions in the months ahead to further increase the amount of information available to the public.

Envirofacts has the following major categories or functions:

Air Permits/Releases

Water Permits/Releases

Land Use

Waste Management

Toxics (Reports and Hazards)

Radiation

Facilities Information

Compliance History

Mapping

Brownfield Development

Envirofacts is a powerful tool for getting general information about the use of hazardous chemicals at whatever location one inputs. However, the mere use of a hazardous chemical does not imply a significant risk. Other sources (state agencies, academic and industry) will be needed to gain a more meaningful understanding of site risk.

For further information: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/index.html

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