EPA uses grants to push states toward streamlined reporting

EPA uses grants to push states toward streamlined reporting

By Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

OCT. 16 -The Environmental Protection Agency's One Stop reporting program this month moved nine states closer to its goal of having all 50 states participate in the agency's plan to streamline environmental reporting.

EPA began the One Stop reporting program in 1995 as a way to improve state and federal environmental regulatory management. The agency gives out grants of $500,000 to states that are making strides in automating their environmental data reporting. The states invited to apply for the One Stop grants this month are Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

So far, EPA offered the grants to 34 states. The other states participating in the program are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

"It's like seed money," said Ed Meyer, chief information officer of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Minnesota used its One Stop money to improve its geographic information system data. Before the Pollution Control Agency received the grant last year, Minnesota environmental officials had assigned geographic coordinates to about 5 percent of the state's environmental sites, Meyer said.

"Without geographic coordinates, we couldn't very well load data into any kind of GIS tool," he said. Now, state officials have assigned geographic coordinates to 95 percent of environmental sites. Meyer and his team are working on developing a GIS database using ArcView and ArcInfo from Environment Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.


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