Last Thursday 20+ organizers, students, activists and academics gathered for the second of four online workshops to practice our right to know about environmental hazards together by making congressional district report cards on industry compliance with and EPA enforcement of environmental laws. Building on EDGI’s findings that enforcement of environmental laws dropped precipitously under the Trump administration, we are developing report cards for each member of Congress involved in the House and Senate Committees responsible for EPA oversight (the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee). These Environmental Enforcement Watch or “EEW” Report Cards provide members of Congress and their constituents with data on violations of environmental laws, facility inspections, and enforcement actions in their districts since 2001. As the EPA is mandated by Congress to enforce environmental laws, we aim to provide legislators with an informative analysis based on EPA’s own data of compliance with and enforcement of environmental laws in the districts they serve.
Environmental Enforcement Watch (EEW) is EDGI’s latest project. A collaborative effort across several of our working groups, EEW is a series of online workshops aimed at increasing EPA ECHO data literacy through our custom Jupyter Notebooks, in an effort to foster community research and polluter accountability. Our interns—young, passionate individuals—have put in countless hours developing and fine-tuning every aspect of our EEW workshops. We thank them for their many ideas and efforts, without which EEW would not be what it is today. Without further ado, here are our interns: