About the Site
EPA is committed to public access to environmental information and has worked with states to develop a format for providing Internet access to information contained in core EPA data systems. ECHO focuses on facility compliance and EPA/state enforcement of environmental regulations. Though the data included within ECHO have been in the public domain through Freedom of Information Act requests and mainframe computer subscription, the information was not available in a searchable Web format. ECHO makes it much easier for the public to obtain these data records on the Internet.
EPA has worked with state governments to develop the content of the site and ensure accurate data. A Joint EPA-state Enforcement and Compliance Public Access Workgroup developed the template for the type, sources, and amount of data to be included within ECHO. This workgroup, developed in partnership with The Environmental Council of the states (ECOS), made its recommendations in June 2000. To prepare for launch of ECHO, EPA and the states conducted a comprehensive data review to ensure high quality information. ECHO also includes on the site an online error reporting process that allows users to alert EPA and the states to possible errors.
ECHO is a Web interface that draws data from the Integrated Data for Enforcement Analysis system (IDEA). IDEA, operated by EPAs Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, integrates facility data from disparate EPA databases.
ECHO provides integrated compliance and enforcement information for approximately 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. The site allows users to find inspection, violation, enforcement action, informal enforcement action, and penalty information about facilities for the past three years. Facilities regulated under the following environmental statutes are included: Clean Air Act (CAA) Stationary Source Program, Clean Water Act (CWA) National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
ECHO reports provide a snapshot of a facilitys environmental record, showing dates and types of violations, as well as the state or federal governments response. ECHO reports also contain demographic information from the National Census. EPA, state and local environmental agencies, and the facilities collect/report the data that are submitted to EPA databases. For more information on the data included, please see the About the Data page.
For information on EPA's enforcement program, please see Civil Enforcement.