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Welcome to the Data Finder Forum

2009 May 7

The Data Finder Forum is a discussion space to collaborate on Data Finder, a single place to find EPA’s data sources so people can access and understand environmental information. Please suggest additional data sources or new features that make Data Finder more useful.  EPA will post your suggestions so others can build on them, and EPA will respond about possible improvements.  Future versions of Data Finder could include data sets, environmental models, or services that connect data and models. If you’d like, you can send a message via email and we’ll post it on the blog unless you specify otherwise. Please leave a comment below or select a topic from the list on the right.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

22 Responses leave one →
  1. October 28, 2009

    For wsunderland: We’re looking into ways to search for data sources that have information about specific substances like asbestos. In the meantime, here are websites that have information about asbestos:

    Where can I find an accredited laboratory to test for asbestos?
    http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/help.html#labs

    EPA Asbestos site:
    http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/

    I hope that helps.

  2. October 28, 2009

    For Dean Gee: Data Finder is a new product so this is its first design. We’re looking into ways to search for data sources that have information about specific substances like VOCs. I’ll email you so I can understand what you’re looking for.

  3. w sunderland permalink
    October 27, 2009

    I am concerned about ceiling tiles in a property that I recently purchased. I entered “asbestos” in your data finder and got no hits?
    I entered “asbestos testing”and got no hits. My inquiries are so fundamental, I’m surprised there are no referrals at all.

  4. Dean Gee permalink
    October 13, 2009

    new website is not very useful compared to previous design, had difficulty finding info on VOCs (volatile organic compounds), direct links to major subjects such as air, waste, water, etc. have been removed.

  5. October 9, 2009

    For John Harding: Thanks for taking a look at EPA’s Data Finder. We’re always looking for ways to improve it.

    Data Finder points to the web sites where you can download EPA’s data, particularly if they’re in the form of datasets. At this point, EPA does not have many datasets about carbon dioxide, so Data Finder shows no results. However, I found a few sites, many of which I found with EPA’s search engine, that may interest you:

    Carbon Dioxide sources, etc.:
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/co2.html

    Carbon Dioxide emissions:
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/globalghg.html

    2009 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report (pdf):
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html

    2009 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, tables of data that are compressed in zip format:
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downloads/2009-main-tables.zip

    Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, part of U.S. Department of Energy:
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/

    We plan to provide links to pages such as these to Data Finder. I hope this is helpful. We would like to hear your suggestions for data sources to add to Data Finder.

  6. john harding permalink
    October 9, 2009

    Searching for “carbon dioxide” or even “csrbon” yields zero results. What gives?

  7. October 2, 2009

    for Lynne: I’m assuming you are looking for general information about solid waste generated by households. I’ve included some of EPA’s websites about solid waste, recycling and composting below.

    Recycling
    This page describes recycling in general and provides links to other resources (see the links on the right of the page).
    http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm

    Solid Waste
    This page describes municipal solid waste in general and provides links to other resources (see the links on the right of the page).
    http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/index.htm

    Composting
    This is EPA’s general page about composting.
    http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/composting/

  8. September 30, 2009

    Re: Glenn Fisher’s comment: Thanks for your question. I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for on Data Finder. Data Finder points to EPA pages that have downloadable data sets. We are adding sites about specific chemicals, so the list of sites should grow over time.

    If you want to know about mercury, I suggest you try http://www.epa.gov/mercury. This site includes information about the health effects from mercury as well as its sources. Try these other sites for more information.

    2002 National Emissions Inventory has data about mercury speciation.
    http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/2002inventory.html

    TRI Explorer helps you find facilities that have emitted mercury above a certain threshold amount.
    http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/

    2002 National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment lets you download a set of data about specific chemicals.
    http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/nata2002/tables.html#table1

    If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to contact me and I’ll help you find the right resources

  9. Glenn Fisher permalink
    September 26, 2009

    I typed in ‘mercury’ into the box in your data finder, and nothing came up at all. You have got to be kidding. Of all the crap about mercury, it came up with nothing? What kind of agency is this? You can have all the fancy facebook pics and hyperlinks and web page fancy stuff, but a person cannot just type in mercury and get anything at all? If I was the director, I would start firing people, until I could get some results, in your data finder. This is a total embarrassment of my EPA. I will have to show this to places around. I wonder, after reading this little note, if anyone has the nerve to actually email me that they have actually updated this. I would imagine the embarrassment of the EPA would be that you will not.

  10. September 18, 2009

    for Peter Cartwright: The document entitled “Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure: Municipal Handbook: Rainwater Harvesting Policies” is at this URL:
    http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/gi_munichandbook_harvesting.pdf

  11. Peter Cartwright permalink
    September 18, 2009

    I am trying to locate an EPA document:
    “Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure: Municipal Handbook: Rainwater Harvesting Policies”
    I does not show up from a search.
    Thank you.

  12. lynne permalink
    September 1, 2009

    where would I find info on solid waste, recycling and composting?

  13. Valerie Broadwell permalink
    August 31, 2009

    Not useful. I typed into the search box a question I might ask as an air quality policy person in OAR “2008 ozone data, Sacramento, CA.”

    Search came up with nothing. It should take me to the Green Book–>ozone–>2008–>California–>Sacramento

  14. Richard Engler permalink
    August 13, 2009

    Consider adding a link to RSEI (www.epa.gov/oppt/rsei). It’s not a web-enabled tool, but it is downloadable.

  15. paul wagner permalink
    August 10, 2009

    I would suggest the site include information on risk communication to help us explain, and communities understand, the benchmarks that we use to evaluate environmental data, and to illustrate what risk values (e.g. 1-in-a-million) mean.

  16. Sandra Duque permalink
    August 7, 2009

    As a permit writer, I typically search for air quality regulations. I searched for MACT, NESHAP, ZZZZ on data finder and found not hits. Other possible data sources are WebFire and the Applicability Determination Index.

  17. Mike Fitzpatrick permalink
    August 5, 2009

    Something on the order of 90% of hazardous wastes regulated under RCRA are in fact liquids (e.g., organic solvents of one type or another). Yet the only thing under the heading “Liquid Waste” in the DataFinder are NPDES discharges which are dilute wastewaters regulated under the Clean Water Act. I suggest you change the term “Liquid Waste” to “Wastewater” to avoid confusion.

    http://iaspub.epa.gov/enviro/datafinder.html?pType=2&pLevel=1&pItem=129

  18. Zachary Scott permalink
    August 5, 2009

    It was nice that Data Finder was featured on EPA.gov’s front page (as an item in the banner) for a day, but as I worried, now it has been replaced on the banner with newer items, and there isn’t a link to it elsewhere. In other words, unless you have a direct link to the Data Finder page (http://www.epa.gov/datafinder/), you would never know it’s there. Worse, even if you know it’s there and you’re searching for it in the Research section, it’s still not accessible anywhere (at least not that I can find).

    I know that everyone has their own ideas about how a website should work, but surely there are some items on the front page (I’m looking at you, “What’s Your EnviroQ?”) that can and should be moved so that Data Finder can be prominently – and permanently – featured.

  19. Karen Reshkin permalink
    August 4, 2009

    for Fatima Prioleau: I don’t think we have anything specifically about how to analyze EPA data on the students site. You might find lesson plans like that at the EPA Teaching Center
    If anyone at EPA is interested in creating such a tutorial, the Environmental Education Web Workgroup can help.

  20. subijoy dutta permalink
    August 3, 2009

    Thanks for making the Data Finder. I think the tricks to make it work for people is to dress it like some of the other celebreties in the field. Being used to Google search people will probably place all the terms that are relevant to his/her need and expect to get the first hit on the most likely and the scores thereafter as probable. At times, the search words are misspelled and Google caters for that as well. That’s of course a little too much expectation.

    But I tried “Arsenic in Water Arizona” it came with zero.

    Hope you can make it search for any arsenic data in the repository and at least come up with that .

    Good luck.

  21. August 3, 2009

    for Fatima Prioleau: Data Finder points people to the places where they can download EPA’s data. Hopefully people can understand the data and use it to protect the environment. For now, EPA’s Middle School site (http://www.epa.gov/students/) may help your students. In the longer term we’ll have to think of ways to help people analyze data. Suggestions anyone?

  22. Fatima Prioleau permalink
    July 31, 2009

    This site needs to have a link that shows educator how to use this site for data analysis. I have my middle school students analyze data about the climate and or pollution and it is difficult to find the data in such a way that my students can measure its central tendencies. It is time consuming to have to take the data and rearrange so that is accessible to my students. Any tutorials you add would be helpful

    Thank you,

    FYP
    New York City

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