EPA grants push states toward smooth reporting

EPA grants push states toward smooth reporting

Agency wants all states to participate in streamlining environmental data

By Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

The Environmental Protection Agency's One Stop Reporting program last month moved nine states closer to the agency's goal of having all 50 states participate in a plan to streamline environmental reporting.

EPA began the One Stop Reporting program in 1995 to improve state and federal environmental regulatory management. The agency awards grants of $500,000 to states that are making strides in automating environmental data reporting.

The states invited to apply for the One Stop grants in October were Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Each state that completes the application process will receive the grant, EPA officials said.

EPA has offered the grants to 34 states; participants include 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. Under the grant, 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 Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif.

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