Free Webinar Explains How to Use ECHO
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides public access to industry regulatory compliance and enforcement data online. The Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) website at http://echo.epa.gov integrates data from EPA information systems for public use. EPA will hold a one-hour webinar that provides an introduction to its ECHO website on Tuesday, June 2. To register, click here.
As recently reported by AGC, EPA is calling its ECHO website “one of EPA’s most important and popular resources.” ECHO is a regularly updated database that lets anyone access detailed information regarding a company’s compliance status, inspection and enforcement history, and permit and pollutant-discharge data at any specific regulated site.
Participants in EPA’s June 2 webinar will learn how to work with all of ECHO’s features. Participants also will have a chance to ask questions and provide feedback. To register for the ECHO Training for the Public webinar, click here.
ECHO can be used to display trends in compliance and enforcement data through dashboards, maps, and charts. Forthcoming regulations like the NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule for stormwater discharge permits are expected to increase the scope of construction-site data that is uploaded to the ECHO system. Some AGC members already are using ECHO to analyze and benchmark themselves against other regulated facilities in their region. Similarly, construction firms can use ECHO to monitor compliance across their own jobsites/facilities. Project owners and investors may use ECHO to factor environmental performance into their decisions. Many in the business community are concerned that ECHO is a way for EPA to shift more of the enforcement burden to citizen groups, in light of the agency’s shrinking budget.
AGC has suggested that members may want to consider assigning a representative to access and monitor what EPA is posting about their facilities. Some contractor firms have reported errors in the data that is displayed in the ECHO system. As more information on construction sites gets uploaded to ECHO, it will become increasingly important for companies to take steps to monitor and correct any erroneous data.
If you would like to register to participate in EPA’s June 2 webinar, click here.
For more information, you can also visit the ECHO Video Tutorials Web page for additional assistance in understanding how to use ECHO - http://echo.epa.gov/help/tutorials.