The Environmental Protection Agency has launched the Sector Facility Indexing Project, a pilot program that will provide comprehensive information through the Internet on the environmental performance of hundreds of U.S. facilities in five major industries. The industrial sectors covered include: automobile assembly, pulp manufacturing, petroleum refining, iron and steel production, and the primary smelting and refining of aluminum, copper, lead and zinc.
The new database covers 653 facilities and includes information on past inspections and enforcement actions, the size of the facilities and their annual release of chemicals into the environment. Demographic data about communities near the facilities are also included.
"Putting high-quality environmental information into the hands of citizens is one of the most powerful tools for protecting public health and the environment in our communities," says EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "The information in this pilot program comes largely from industrial and state sources and has been subject to a rigorous quality-assurance process."