Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Database of toxic-chemical releases is a good starting point or background for news stories

The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory is a database on the "disposal or release of 650 potentially dangerous chemicals used by almost 21,000 facilities," as easy to use as typing in your ZIP code to get the names and addresses of polluters, but the data don't capture all the pollution and come partly from reporting by industries, which often provide estimates, not actual figures, reports Corbin Hiar of iWatch, published by the Center for Public Integrity.

"These estimates in some cases dramatically understate the extent of pollution," as the center and National Public Radio reported recently, Hiar reports. Still, the data are a good starting point for stories about the issue, or good background for stories on facilities that handle toxic materials. For EPA's latest analysis of the database, just released, click here.

No comments: