This October marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA). With the original goal of eliminating point-source pollution within ten years, the CWA articulated nationwide water quality standards to protect both public health and wildlife habitats. Fifty years later, and over seventy years after the onset of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking), federal loopholes and the structure of the CWA itself have left fracking largely unregulated.
In July of this year, EDGI’s Website Governance Project participated in the Earth Science Information Partners’ (ESIP) summer meeting in Pittsburgh. ESIP is a collaboration network made up of government scientists, research centers, and educators working to make earth science and related data more accessible and usable. The theme for this year’s summer meeting was “Data for All People: From Generation to Use and Understanding.”
This Wednesday Gretchen Gehrke, cofounder of EDGI and leader of EDGI’s Website Governance Project (WGP), will speak at the Internet Archive’s event ‘Building Democracy’s Library,’ an inauguration of the new Internet Archive project Democracy’s Library, “a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world.”
This month at the Science Writers 2022 Conference, EDGI members Kelsey Breseman and Eric Nost will host the virtual workshop ‘What’s in the Water? Stories in Federal Environmental Data’, demonstrating how science writers can utilize an open-source data science tool to discover stories and develop insights from the EPA’s records on Clean Water Act (CWA) pollution permits.
Webmaps that are meant to evaluate and “screen” neighborhoods for environmental injustices have seen a lot of interest in both the United States and Canada lately. From informing where to distribute climate funding in the US as “Justice 40” to Canada’s Bill C-226, the pursuit of environmental equity has led to a strongly felt need for data and mapping tools that overlay environmental health with racial and income disparities.
nationwide strategy to research and redress the disproportionate harms that Indigneous, racialized, and other socio-economically marginalized communities face from industrial pollution.
Last month EDGI received a Science and Technology Studies (STS) program grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how the environmental justice (EJ) movement in the United States has affected data- and science-related values, methods, and practices at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the last four decades.
After sounding the alarm about the EPA’s plans to sunset its web archive, EDGI members sent an open letter to the EPA, co-signed by the Sierra Club and other groups, urging the agency to maintain this critical public resource. The EPA subsequently announced a year-long extension of the web archive.
Defining healthcare as a responsibility of good government could transform our ability to expect better environmental governance.Though corporations are technically subject to environmental laws, as EDGI has thoroughly documented, these laws are largely unenforced, not effective as deterrents when enforced, and largely reliant on accurate self-reporting of any misdeeds.
In April, EDGI received a grant from Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) to participate in the recent UNBOUND (Understanding Needs to Broaden Outside Use of NASA Data) Environmental Justice Workshop series, which was hosted by ESIP and NASA’s Earth Science Division.