The US Environmental Protection Agency has recently launched Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO). ECHO retrieves environmental records for approximately 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. These data are freely accessible under the Freedom of Information Act, but have not been available online until recently. Searching by location yields a list of facilities and businesses in the area, with summary data indicating 1) whether the EPA or state/ local governments have conducted inspections; 2) whether violations were detected; and 3) whether enforcement took place and penalties were assessed. ECHO should prove a useful resource for research in the environmental sciences.
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