RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

RL Macklin's Sustainability & EHS Website

Integrated Strategies for Managing Sustainability & EHS

EPA Adds TSCA Info in EnviroFacts DB

In March of this year EPA committed to giving the public wider access to the data collected under the Toxics Substance Control Act.  This action was consistent with EPA Administrator Lisa P Jackson’s commitment to increase the public’s access to chemical information.  According to Steve Ownes, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances “Increasing the public’s access to information on chemiclas is one of Administrator Jackson’s top priorities.  The American people are entitled to easily accessible information on chemicals.”

Prior to March 2010 the consolidated public portion of the TSCA Inventory  was only available for a fee. In March the public was given free access to the data on EPA’s website as well as on Data.gov.  Data.gov is part of the Obama administration ongoing efforts at providing more public access to data collected and maintained by the Federal government.

On May 17, 2010 EPA announced that it would also add information on 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities  to its Envirofacts database and website.  Historic information will be added for another 2,500 facilities.  Envirofacts is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility, such as EPA’s inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database.

For more information see

US EPA News Release - EPA Makes Chemical Information More Accessible to Public For the first time, TSCA chemical inventory free of charge online

US EPA News Release - EPA Adds More Than 6,300 Chemicals and 3,800 Chemical Facilities to Public Database Unprecedented access provided for the first time?

 

 

 


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Six Months Later and Fallout From Climategate Continues

Both sides in the controversy over whether global warming is real, or if real can be attributed to anthropogenic activity continue to defend their positions in light of November’s “climategate”.  To recap in November there was an unauthorized release of computer documents and emails from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia.  The majority of the hacked (stolen) material were emails. TMost were fairly routine and mundane exchanges of information, questions etc. among climate change scientist.  Those involved were all prominent British and American climate change scientist.

The documents that weren’t just routine exchanges however, include ones that were dismissive and/or demeaning of climate change detractors, discuss ways to present data so that gaps and contradictory data are masked.  The most troubling were correspondence in which the scientist discuss and try to come up with an explanation for an apparent failure of the climate change models.  In the short term temperatures have decreased slightly rather than increased.

Additionally, the University admitted that during the 1980′s much of the actual raw data, stored on paper and magnetic tapes was dumped when the CRU was moved from one location to another.

An inquiry into the actions of the British scientist has cleared them of wrong doing.  That the inquiry was initiated by the University has caused some to question whether the findings are truly impartial.

Scientist not directly implicated in the controversy have recently declared “enough is enough”.  They are quick to point out that other data exists to support the claim that anthropogenic?? global warming is taking place. The data they refer to is not related to nor based on the data from East Anglia.

An essay written in response to the continuing controversy was published in the May 7th edition of the journal Science was signed by 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including  11 Nobel laureates?.  The essay states very plainly the signatories continued belief that global warming is real, a significant threat to the planet and the direct result of human activity. The essay further chastises politicians who have used the recent developments to further their political causes and bolster their stand against climate change legislation.  The full text of the essay can be found here.  As several have noted it is virtually impossible to get 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences to agree on anything.

However, the climate change detractors are quick to point out that they have a number of unfulfilled requests for data, records and information filed under the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA).  Some of the requests, made to NASA are over two years old.  The statute requires the material by within 20 days of the request.  NASA has responded that the volume of data is overwhelming and they are doing their best to gather and supply it.  What records they have turned over have been heavily redacted.

So after months the issue of the data supporting climate change remains somewhat murky.  What is evident is that the scientist researching climate change need to be more transparent.  The transparency is needed not just in response to increased volume of their critics.  The lack of transparency raises suspicion that “they” are hiding something.  It makes it even more difficult to pass the very legislation they themselves advocate.  If there are gaps in the data and other anomalies then theories about what they mean should be given.  Mistakes, if they have been made should be openly admitted.  This discourse however, unpleasant for the scientist is part of the job.  Further discussion on the need for transparency can be found here


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