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  • Toxics Release Inventory Data Excha... Washington Dept. of Ecology
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USA

Toxics Release Inventory Data Exchange

Windsor Solutions partnered with the State of Washington, Department of Ecology (Ecology) to develop a simple and intuitive way of browsing reported Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data within the familiar structure of the federal reporting forms. This Web-based application offers Ecology users the ability to search for and locate facilities that submitted TRI reports and features a variety of data reporting and extract capabilities.

TRI Data ExchangeTRI Data Exchange

Background

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) informs communities and citizens of hazardous chemicals in their area. EPCRA requires businesses to report to governments the locations and quantities of chemicals stored onsite, and this information is used to plan responses to chemical spills and related emergencies. EPCRA also mandates EPA and the States to collect information on toxic chemical releases and transfers from industrial facilities and make this data available to the public in the Toxics Release Inventory.

The Challenge Presented

EPA designed and developed TRI Made-Easy (TRI-ME) software, which enables facilities to submit annual TRI reports in an electronic format. Historically facilities were required to submit TRI reports to both EPA and the States, so the introduction of TRI-ME did not eliminate this dual reporting burden.

The TRI State Data Exchange was implemented allowing facilities to report using TRI-ME to the EPA in the knowledge that the TRI data will then be forwarded to the States via the Exchange Network in real time. This removes the dual reporting burden but requires States to have applications that allow data shared through the TRI State Data Exchange to be processed and used to run their toxics reduction programs.

Windsor at Work: Our Solution

A first-generation TRI Report Viewer was first implemented for the State of Kansas, Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) in early 2006. This initial Web-based interface provided users with the ability to search for and locate facilities that submitted TRI reports in a specified reporting year. Users could select a facility and view the full set of TRI report submissions grouped by reporting year and chemical, or view the full detail of a given TRI report within the federal TRI report format and structure.

Ecology and Windsor Solutions partnered in early 2007 to extend the functionality of this TRI Report Viewer application and incorporate several key business processes and administrative functions. The new version of this application and related data exchange is known as the TRI Data Exchange (TRIDex).

TRIDex was enhanced to include the following capabilities:

  • Support for version 2.0 of the TRI XML Schema that was used for the 2006 reporting year (2005 TRI reporting utilized version 1.2 of the TRI XML Schema). Support for TRI XML Schema v3.0 will be incorporated once the schema is finalized.
  • Ability to generate data extract files to support further data analysis by State users.
  • Capability to link reporting TRI facilities with the agency-level facility data repository.
  • Ability to log the receipt of paper forms and generate emails to TRI facilities indicating that the paper form was received and recommending use of EPA’s TRI-ME solution.
  • Capability to automatically send emails to TRI facilities indicating that their TRI report has been processed by the EPA and received by the State agency.
  • Display of important “meta-data” fields that further describe each TRI report submission.
  • Integration of security roles to differentiate between users who can browse TRI reports and users who can perform administrative functions.
  • Ability to accept query strings from Windsor’s Facility Profiler (FP) data warehouse, thus integrating TRI facilities to FP environmental interests.

The updated TRIDex application was successfully used by the Ecology Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program to receive and manage TRI reports for the 2006 reporting year. The enhanced software was also returned to the State of Kansas and recently deployed at the State of Minnesota, Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management division and at the State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response office. Windsor Solutions plans to upgrade TRIDex to support the newly defined TRI XML Schema version 3.0 once its design is finalized and approved.

Results That Reward

TRIDex serves as an excellent example of how the federal and state collection, sharing, and release of TRI report data can be streamlined. This application has already provided Ecology with a handful of benefits:

  • Ability to view TRI Form “R” and Form “A” submissions to EPA
  • Elimination of TRI report data entry
  • Data processing efficiencies
  • Enhanced inquiry and data extraction capabilities


Details

CLIENT: Washington Dept. of Ecology
DISCIPLINES: Air, Land, Cross-discipline
SERVICES:
PRODUCTS:

Interested in learning more?

Jason Bunker

Contact Jason Bunker
Windsor Solutions
808.447.3100 x203
Email