Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EPA maps out $5 billion worth of pollution

In a
2009 Compliance Summary released today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that its enforcement actions resulted in polluters investing more than $5 billion on pollution controls, cleanup, and environmental projects.

"Civil and criminal defendants committed to install controls and take other measures to reduce pollution by approximately 580 million pounds annually once all required controls are fully implemented," the agency said.

The agency also unveiled a new Web-based interactive map which, it says, "allows the public to get detailed information by location about the enforcement actions taken at approximately 4,600 facilities."

The maps show facilities where civil enforcement actions were taken for environmental laws for air, water, and land pollution, and a separate map shows criminal enforcement actions.

Viewers can click on specific facilities to find historical information about specific enforcement actions, such as violations and monetary penalties. In addition, viewers can use the zoom function to find out which facilities are located near water bodies that are listed as "impaired” because they do not meet federal water quality standards.

Not included in the map are the locations of drinking water treatment plants "due to potential security concerns."

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