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EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Online Tool for Petroleum Refineries Now Includes Environmental Justice Metrics 

By - Miori
10/11/2022 12:06 PM

The Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Dashboard allows the public to search for facilities in areas with potential EJ concerns

Petroleum refineries since 2015 have been monitoring and reporting air quality at the perimeter of all facilities.
Petroleum refineries have been monitoring and reporting air quality at the perimeter of all facilities since 2015.
Image by Devon Chandler from Pixabay

On October 3, 2022, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will improve transparency of environmental enforcement by making their Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) tool integrated with environmental justice (EJ) metrics. This will allow users to do the following:

  1. Search for Facilities in Areas with Possible EJ Concerns
  2. Investigate Pollution Sources in Areas with Possible EJ Concerns
  3. Examine and Create EJ Enforcement-Related Maps
  4. Analyze Trends in Compliance & Enforcement EJ Data

The Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Dashboard was active shortly after petroleum refineries were required in 2015 to install air monitoring systems around the perimeter of their facilities. Reporting to the EPA happens quarterly. 

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The Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Dashboard improves public access to data concerning benzene emissions along refinery fencelines and allows the public the option to perform detailed analyses of that data themselves. EPA's goal is to increase public access to information, advance transparency, and help contribute to environmental justice.

On one hand, government transparency is a good thing. On the other hand, information in the hands of those with little background on the topic, or who know "just enough to be dangerous," may lead to misinformation and/or inaccurate conclusions.  

Do you see this as a step in the right direction? Let me know in the comments below!

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