Major programs within EPA

Window to My Environment. EPA provides a Web tool at www.epa.gov that allows the public to access data about environmental conditions in their community. WME has an integrated geographic information system component to pinpoint data about environmental health and safety conditions in a given region. The portal also provides tools for the public to take action to improve those conditions. Officials are working to upgrade the system by adding greater geographic coverage, live streaming data and additional data from state agencies. They are also working to upgrade data standards, quality and consistency.

National Environmental Scientific Computing Center. The center, in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is the home of EPA's high-performance computing programs. Program officials use three supercomputers to provide environmental modeling and decision support tools that help analyze environmental policy options, especially with regard to climate change. The center has built the Model-3 Air Quality Modeling System, now released in Version 4.3, to help policymakers evaluate the effect of air quality management programs for multiple pollutants. It also lets scientists analyze the interactions of pollutants and other chemicals in the atmosphere.

Scientific Visualization Center. Researchers at the center use Octane workstations from SGI to synthesize images for complex, multi-dimensional data sets. The staff uses an SGI Onyx 3400 High Performance Graphics Server with eight 400-MHz processors, 4G of main memory and 218G of local disk storage to explore the possibilities of real-time, interactive display of simulated three-dimensional environments. Center researchers also use a slightly less powerful SGI Onyx2 computational and visualization server linked to the agency's supercomputers via a high-performance parallel interface.

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