We want clean air, clean water, and an end to environmental racism and injustice. Strong environmental regulation is important, but it’s only as good as its enforcement.

Environmental Enforcement Watch is series of networked online workshops that bring people together from different backgrounds to analyze the data from Environmental Protection Agency’s  Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. ECHO data includes reported violations of environmental laws, facility inspections, and enforcement actions (or lack thereof) issued by the EPA and state agencies.

In these virtual workshops, we will work with community organizers, concerned residents, and university students and staff to dive into the data and stories in your legislative districts, zip codes, and counties to find out: (1) what companies are emitting; (2) what are the associated environmental health risks; (3) what is and isn’t being tracked; (4) whether local facilities are violating their permits; and (5) what environmental enforcement looks like in your area.

Together, we can use publicly available data to hold our government and industry accountable. 

Goals

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Engage interested members of the public in participatory learning about industry-related pollution that is meaningful to them and their networks.

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Provide a space for people to share their stories and build connections with others concerned about the decline of federal environmental enforcement.

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Create strategic, compelling, and informative reports of environmental injustices and regulatory trends in order to inform community action.

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Analyze environmental data to answer questions posed by communities and researchers.

Workshop Tracks

Report–Making

All workshops begin by making a customized report on violations, inspections and enforcement of environmental laws in the congressional district, state, watershed or city of interest to participants. These reports are based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) database, and aggregated through our Jupyter notebooks.

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Data Visualization

Brainstorm and develop different ways that data can be visualized in order to convey powerful messages used for reports, social media, classroom outreach, direct action, and more.

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Research Contextualization

Provide location-specific context for emissions and enforcement data. Investigate facilities and locations of interest by finding news articles, community group publications, and other public documentation and incorporate relevant information into the reports.

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Story Gathering

Capture the reactions, thoughts, & stories of yourself and other attendees. Use these reflections to supplement data, generate research questions, and connect.

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Data Science

Consider additional questions that the data can address. Expand the Jupyter notebooks to answer questions posed by participants.

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