The National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) represents a partnership among states, tribes, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revolutionize the exchange of environmental information. Partners on the Exchange Network share data efficiently and securely using standards-based Internet Web Services technologies. This new approach offers the potential for providing more timely access to higher quality data while saving time, resources, and money for partner states, tribes, and territories.
CalEPA has partnered with a variety of different organizations within California to develop demonstration projects built upon the NEIEN network. In most cases, these projects have been developed using Exchange Network grant funding from USEPA.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD): The BAAQMD is developing a new data management system (DMS) capable of supporting real-time air quality and meteorological data collection and dissemination. The DMS will automatically check the quality of incoming data and export the data to AirNow and other local web-based services. The DMS will also provide a robust multi-user database with tools for further data review and analysis on a state-of-the-art server.
San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD): The SDAPCD is adopting the Air Quality System (AQS) eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schema for their ambient air quality data network. The district will share AQS data with Federal, State and other local agencies, as well as demonstrate the use of XML for improved data distribution through the District’s existing web site.
With some help from a NEIEN grant, CalEPA has created a cross-media database of regulated California facilities and sites of environmental interest. Sites include regulated land fills, used oil facilities, used tire facilities, underground and above ground fuel storage tanks, water pollution dischargers, facilities reporting air emissions, permitted hazardous materials storage and haulers, licensed pesticide distributors, and brownfield sites or Superfund sites. The database, which contains over 600,000 sites in California, is searchable and GIS capable for mapping.
California Environmental Protection Agency: CalEPA has a NEIEN grant to deliver inspection and enforcement data on California’s Large Quantity Generators (LQG) of hazardous materials to U. S. EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information System (RCRAInfo) database. This will be done by first developing an LQG database, developing a Web-based data entry application or data submission application to allow data updates, and developing a method of outputting the data for inclusion into RCRAInfo.
Santa Clara County: The Santa Clara County Fire Chiefs Association along with the Santa Clara County Environmental Health Department, the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, and Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce Environmental Health and Safety Forum have created the Hazardous Materials Online Inventory Project (HMOIP). The HMOIP offers tangible benefits to industry and local agencies that use the system including a growing chemical database, automatic generation of building occupancy and other reports, instant document ‘submission’, and real time access for emergency responders to facility maps, inventories and more recently, site photos. It provides a time-saving opportunity to collect accurate, verified data, which is then electronically available to authorized agencies. This project creates new opportunities to exchange information among many agencies and creates new opportunities for businesses, consultants, and local agencies to participate. It enhances emergency response capabilities and provides critical homeland security information to authorized personnel that are not currently shared among agencies while maintaining security for non public information such as site plans and facility maps. http://www.unidocs.org/hmoip/index.html
Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA): OEHHA is piloting a pesticide illness reporting database in cooperation with DPH and DPR. Doctors will use an internet-based form to report illnesses suspected to be caused by exposure to pesticides. DPH will use this data in their Environmental Health Tracking Program.
CalEPA: Contributing to the OEHHA/DPH project above, CalEPA is demonstrating a database conversion that will take existing pesticide use information from DPR, translate the data into XML and exchange that data with the Waterboard, DPH, OEHHA, and other organizations who do research on pesticide use.
CalEPA NEIEN Water-related Data Exchange
CalEPA is either participating or acting in a project oversight role on several projects related to water. These projects are organized as follows:
- State Water Resources Control Board The SWRCB completed a beach water quality monitoring NEIEN project. The project was developed to demonstrate the sharing of beach water quality/public health data and public warning information among local, state, and federal involved parties. http://beachwatch.waterboards.ca.gov/BeachWatch/
- State Water Resources Control Board The SWRCB completed the first phase of the California Integrated Water Quality System (CIWQS) NEIEN project. CIWQS is a computer system used by the State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards to track information about places of environmental interest, manage permits and other orders, track inspections, and manage violations and enforcement activities. CIWQS also allows online submittal of information by Permittees within certain programs and makes data available to the public through reports. http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/water_issues/programs/ciwqs/
- Department of Water Resources DWR has a Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) NEIEN project underway. This project collects and exchanges water quality data as part of the Bay Delta and Tributary (BDAT) project. http://bdat.ca.gov/index.html
- Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)
- Within the Division of Drinking Water and Environmental Management in the California Department of Public Health (formerly known as the Department of Health Services), there exists the Public Drinking Water Systems program which regulates public water systems; oversees water recycling projects; permits water treatment devices; certifies drinking water treatment and distribution operators; and supports and promotes water system security. As part of this program, information is provided to the US EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS).
- SDWIS Data Exchange Node Project As part of a grant project being jointly conducted by the California Department of Public Health [CDPH], University of California at Davis (Information Center for the Environment [UCD-ICE], and the CalEPA, the CDPH Public Drinking Water Program is providing SDWIS data on drinking water wells to the CalEPA via an Exchange Node interchange between CalEPA and UCD/ICE. This project demonstrates the use of this technology for exchange of regulatory data.