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October 5, 2022

New Online Tools Provide Communities with Information on Environmental Enforcement and Compliance

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 3, 2022, two new online tools available to the public that provide additional information on environmental enforcement and compliance in their communities. EPA states that through improved transparency, advanced technologies, and community participation, these tools empower the public to help EPA ensure compliance nationwide and protect public health and the environment.
EJ Metrics Integrated with ECHO
Members of the public can use EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website to search for facilities in their communities to assess their compliance with environmental regulations. In addition, EPA has now integrated Environmental Justice (EJ) metrics in the basic ECHO facility features, allowing users to:

  • Search for facilities in areas with possible EJ concerns;
  • Investigate pollution sources in areas with possible EJ concerns;
  • Examine and create EJ enforcement-related maps; and
  • Analyze trends in compliance and enforcement EJ data.

EPA has posted a short video tutorial to help users get started: EJ and ECHO.
Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Dashboard
Beginning in 2015, petroleum refineries were required to install air monitors around the perimeter of their facilities. Petroleum refineries must monitor benzene concentrations and report the results to EPA on a quarterly basis. Those results are now accessible to the public on EPA’s Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Dashboard. According to EPA, the Dashboard improves public access to program data concerning benzene emissions along refinery fencelines and allows for a more detailed analysis of those data. Public access to this information advances public transparency and EJ.