ECHO Comments Archive
"In reviewing the data on the ECHO website for several of
our client manufacturing companies, I am surprised by the large
number of "non-compliance" situations and/or violations
for which I personnally have knowledge to the contrary. Interestingly,
it appears this may reflect an issue with the quality of data EPA
receives from the states, yet EPA is putting the burden on the manufacturing
company to identify and report these errors. The accountability
for accurately provide compliance information should rest solely
with the state (or federal) regulator. In the event the regulator
believes the company is out of compliance, then this should be brought
to the attention of the company either before the information is
forwarded to EPA or at the same time so that there is some type
of check or verification of non-compliance before the report is
made public. While I think the database is a good idea, there needs
to be quite a bit of work done to ensure incorrect information about
a company's compliance status is not displayed, period (and the
company should not be the ones required to constantly check the
system to ensure the data is correct)."
"Great site! Keep it up, updated and running. This is government
at its finest, giving citizen's the information they need to be
constructively engaged in their communities. Thank you for this
"ECHO is an excellent site. Some suggestions:
-Make the system so good that states will want to use it themselves
as a primary source of looking up information they need to do their
jobs. In other words, add features specifically for state
use (create focus groups from state environmental agencies to see
what they want/need).
I strongly support the increase the compliance status/violations
timeframe from 2 years to 5 years. Thanks again for an excellent
"I think your site is great.
"...I took a quick tour of ECHO, entering a search for my
area (zip [xxx]). One facility was listed as having violations in
the last two years [xxx]. I clicked on that name and was presented
with a rather bewildering set of tables. The "Two Year Compliance
Status by Quarter" table seemed to be the place to look for
further detail. It listed the facility as "in viol" for
every quarter, but there was no information beyond that and nowhere
to click to get more info on the nature of the violations. (The
Data Dictionary button only yields generic explanations of the data
fields.) A similar search on zip [xxx] said that [xxx], also had
violations within the last two years. Again, the page I got when
I clicked on [xxx] provided no additional info and nowhere to click
for more detail. The ideal approach would be to be able to click
on any instance of "In viol" to see what the violation
was. As an [xxx], I realize that there is a limit to how much information
you can cram into a single web page or data table, and I realize
that your disparate data sources may not easily allow presentation
of information in layman's terms. But the information that's available
on the Detailed Facility Reportat least for my two testsis
not very useful. Perhaps ECHO is already useful for watchdog groups
and other environmental professionals, but it has a way to go before
the general public will benefit from it."
"I recently read an article on providing more information
via the internet. Very briefly here are my comments: 1) Such a database,
system adds costs to the Government; in a time when we should be
looking at minimizing these costs. 2) I believe in the freedom of
information act, but what is wrong with getting the information
the old fashion way, a phone call, written request, etc. 3) We don't
how this information could be used; and we should monitor who gets
it. 4) If they want it, they should make a personal request, and
pay for it. Lets face it the companies that are providing this information
have paid for it several ways. 5) Accuracy of the information is
questionable/ misleading; bad information in the wrong hands is
"I read though all the positive comments. Are you guys nuts?
Have we already fogotten about 9/11? There is enough information
available for any terrorist domestic or foreign to select a target.
This site gives them a map to the facility,tells them the type of
industry it is (SIC code)and from there they can figure out where
to find the methy ethyl death. Finally, with the demographics (in
1 to 3 mile radius)added it provides a quick estimate for the body
count. Most of the information the citizens want is public and already
available. Do we really want to make it that easy for a terrorist
to select their next target? Thank you for accepting on line comments."
"ECHO is a most helpful tool. We are currently trying to obtain
information regarding pipeline hzardous liquid release information.
If mandatory reports were made public, it would save a lot of people
from further damage to their health."
"This is a great resource. Please keep it up and running."
"I found the site useful and easy to use both for [xxx] and
for my job as [xxx] with a regional governmental agency, [xxx].
I hope this site becomes a permanent addition to the tools available
to ensure that our waters are safe for swimming and fishing."
"Thank you for making this critical data about facility performance
available to the public on-line. Public access to this information
will benefit both the regulated community as well as the public.
Facilities that regularly comply with the law will have their records
opened for all to see and their good track records can be lauded,
while facilities that are often in violation of the law will be
forced to explain their actions to the communities they harm the
most, and thus will likely be more accountable. I commend EPA for
beginning the work to make this information available to the public.
Features of the site that are particularly useful:
"Suggestions: 1. Since some zip codes yield no information,
it would be nice to be able to enter a town, city, or county or
even search on a state-wide level. 2. I, together with [xxx], tried
out your ECHO site. Once we did locate facilities, it was not immediately
obvious whether they were discharging to land, water or air. We
did eventually see where this was written into a chart but I'd say
make it more noticable. 3. Also, once we found a facility, we were
not able to get information about WHAT they were discharging, for
what they were in violation, when, how much, how long. It was disappointing
"First let me say that this ECHO web site is great! Good job..."
"A very good start, indeed. I am still on the learning curve,
but I expect this site to be very heavily used. I hope that EPA
will continue to supprt it and improve it over time."
"I like the site and commend you on providing this information
to consumers and area residents."
"The ECHO site's facility data compliance information is wrought
with data errors. The data for [xxx] has many violations listed
that never occurred. Additionally, data for other [xxx] companies
are reported erroneously according to our shared resourses. Further,
the state of Indiana has historically had serious data management
problems as I'm sure many states have. It is not prudent or equitable
to publish erroneous information for public use, therefore, [xxx]
believes the site should be deleted in its entirety until such time
that all quality assurance and corrections are made to every state
and federal compliance information database, collectively."
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