I thought the attached note and release of new information program from EPA
would be of interest.
Small Business Trade Association Executives:
We are writing to inform you that on Friday July 16,1999 the Agency is
releasing a new tool for comparing information about pollution in local
communities. The new tool, entitled "Risk-Screening Environmental
Indicators", is available on CD-ROM and is a part of our public
right-to-know efforts. It uses national data on toxic chemical emissions
from EPA's Toxic Release Inventory.
Specifically, the new tool can be used to compare relative risk from toxic
chemicals grouped by categories like cities, states and industrial
facilities, etc., based on factors like pounds of pollutants released,
relative toxicity, population and exposure data. It is critical to note,
however, that these relative-risk rankings can only be used for comparisons
-- one industrial facility compared to another, for example -- and not for
quantifying actual risks posed to public health from any single facility,
geographical area or other category. Such comparisons are meant to be
helpful only for identifying and prioritizing areas for further research
EPA intended to release this new tool after we had an opportunity to brief
all interested parties. However, in response to a Freedom of Information
request, the Agency will be releasing the CD-ROM the week of July 12. We
therefore wanted to let you know that public groups may soon begin
disseminating reports on information contained in this new CD-ROM.
A more detailed description of the tool, how to obtain a copy of the
CD-ROM, the user manual, frequently asked questions, and contact
information is available at: http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/env_ind/index.html
or you may contact Amy Dewey, on (202) 260-1031.
Karen V Brown
Note to User:
As part of EPA's commitment to expanding the public's right-to-know about environmental pollution in local communities, the Agency is making available a new tool. The CD-ROM accompanying this letter facilitates comparing Toxic Chemical Release data about industrial emissions from a variety of perspectives. This tool can compare data on amount of pollution released, geographical area, industrial facility, including information on relative toxicity, to develop relative risks for chronic human health. This new data screening tool is faster and more efficient than the computer capabilities previously available.
Please note that this set of data on this CD-ROM provides for relative ranking of various categories for comparative purposes only - they cannot be used for determining actual chronic human health risks associated with any given category. The data involved are from the years 1988 to 1997 and although the pounds released and relative toxicity rankings are available for all media, the relative risks rankings deal exclusively with air emissions. Additional screening indicators for ecological impacts and for other media and pollutants will be made available by EPA in the future as they are developed.
A more detailed description of the tool, how to obtain a copy of the CD-ROM, the user manual, frequently asked questions, and contact information is available at: www.epa.gov/opptintr/env_ind/index.html.