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The Green Life: The EPA Wants YOU to Build it an App

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August 11, 2011

The EPA Wants YOU to Build it an App

Cables and grass Have you ever tried to compare data on the EPA's website? It’s not easy. Like many government agencies' sites, it can be complicated and counterintuitive. So if you want to look up, say, the water quality in your ZIP code, you need to wade through a lot of data.

But the EPA is aiming to fix this problem: It's holding a contest for the best green app. From the EPA: Contestants should "look at EPA data and come up with the best, most useful, innovative way to use, show, or combine publicly available EPA data in an app." It's purposely open-ended — the government just wants something accessible that people will use.

Submssions are being taken until Sept. 16, and winners get flown to an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., to meet with EPA officials and present their app. They'll also be featured on the EPA's site for a year. More information is at the contest's website.

If you've got a stellar idea for an app but not the digital skills to develop and code it yourself, you can still submit your idea to developers — and do your part to democratize environmental information.

--Mimi Dwyer

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