States continue to join EPA Exchange Network

States are buying in to the Environmental Protection Agency's single data-sharing platform'with six adding nodes to the Environmental Information Exchange Network in the past six weeks.

There are now 20 nodes on the exchange network, EPA CIO Kim Nelson said today at GCN's 2004 Enterprise Architecture Conference in Washington.

EPA and 19 states are participating in the exchange so far. Another 22 are reworking their systems to create nodes on the network. In late September, the agency had 13 states on the network. EPA wants to bring 35 states into the Web services program by January and all 50 by the end of next year seeGCN story.

The exchange network is an example of how 'we have progressed at warp speed' to push along enterprise architecture efforts and bring EPA's systems under an overarching systems framework, Nelson said.

Plans for the exchange network date to 1998, when EPA decided it had to help ensure the ability of local, state and federal environmental organizations to share data because so many had begun their own data gathering and reporting systems. The problem was that the systems were unable to share data.

EPA officially launched the network last year as part of its enterprise architecture drive. The exchange network uses Extensible Markup Language schema to standardize data classification and sharing. To help states afford to rework their systems, the agency has been providing grants for exchange network projects.

Nelson said the network should save the agency $20 million over the next five years by bringing states to a single data-sharing platform.

Despite the early success of the exchange network, Nelson said, EPA has a way to go to make extensive use of its enterprise architecture to integrate systems and do away with redundant work.

There are a lot of opportunities still unrealized, she said.

About the Authors

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.


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