About this map
To begin exploring how air pollution may affect your community, use this interactive map of more than 17,000 facilities that have emitted hazardous chemicals into the air. Color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on an EPA method of assessing potential health risk in airborne toxins from a given facility. More smoke stack icons signify higher potential risks to human health. Zoom in to your neighborhood by clicking on the map or use the search box to find the area you’re looking for. (Reporting methodology and data)
Source: Analysis of Environmental Protection Agency databases by Elizabeth Lucas, Center for Public Integrity and Robert Benincasa, NPR.
Credits: Map by Nelson Hsu/NPR; developmentseed.org
About the data
Last year reporting to TRI: Indicates the latest year, from 2003 through 2009, that the facility reported air emissions to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI consists of self-reported data on emissions of more than 600 chemicals. Our database includes facilities that reported emissions of any of 187 specific chemicals the Environmental Protection Agency is required to control.
High-priority violator status: This indicates that regulators have listed the facility as a “high priority violator” under the Clean Air Act. That means the EPA or a responsible state or local agency has information it can use to establish a violation of the Clean Air Act. The agency may or may not have made a formal finding of violation.
Risk-screening group: A ranked grouping from 1 to 5, based on a multi-year average of risk screening scores from the EPA’s Risk Screening Environmental Risk Indicators tool. The tool addresses chronic human toxicity associated with long-term exposure to harmful chemicals. For more information about the tool, visit http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/rsei/pubs/tech_info.html