New EPA Site Lets You Investigate Your Local Environment
National statistics about water and air quality barrage us constantly, but most of us know little about the quality of our local environment. How clean is the drinking water? What’s the quality of the ozone? Much radon in the ground?
For some of these questions, we’d probably just as soon not want the answers. But whether you're an aspiring activist or just curious what conditions you're raising your family in, this often hard-to-find information is good to have.
The EPA's new MyEnvironment tool provides a great range of information about local environmental conditions, from air quality to cancer-risk levels. A system of interactive maps and charts makes it easy to assess the environmental quality of the place you’re living, or a location you’re considering moving to.
To learn about your area, go to MyEnvironment and type in a city or ZIP pcode. Features include:
- An air-quality index that ranks quality on a scale from good to hazardous.
- An ozone-forecast rating that lists the day’s ozone-quality levels on a scale from good to very unhealthy.
- A USGS feature that informs about area watersheds, which streams are flowing, and the quality of local water sources.
- A map of area industries and businesses reporting to the EPA and links to records of their environmental behaviors.