US EPA Confirms Continuity of Open Data Service beyond 28-Apr-2017

Update: According to EPA Public Affairs official, EPA’s Open Data web service https://opendata.epa.gov will remain in operation beyond Friday 28-April 2017, pending Congress approving a C.R. or budget. This information is an update to prior notification from EPA to the contractor to “enact a shut down of our Linked Data Service in a manner that allows for it to be reconstituted at a later time.”


23-April 2017 — Last week, after numerous conversations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Information (OEI), and various technical contractors who support EPA, 3 Round Stones, Inc. was notified by email by the Office of Environmental Information that funding is not available to continue operation U.S. EPA’s flagship Open Data Web service, and that the contractor should enact a shut down of our Linked Data Service in a manner that allows for it to be reconstituted at a later time.” The EPA Open Data Web service represents the U.S. Government’s largest civilian linked data service.

The site has been publicly available at https://opendata.epa.gov since 2016, and is used for climate science research, life cycle assessment, health impact analysis and environmental justice.

US EPA Open Data Service provides human and machine readable information on over 4M US EPA regulated facilities, from dry cleaners to nuclear power plants. This image shows the location of Coal Fired Electricity Generators in the U.S. The EPA Open Data Web service contains linked open data on 30 years of toxic releases into the environment maintained by the EPA Toxics Release Inventory Program.

Additionally, the email later included pro forma wording “we need to be ready to turn-off the EPA Open Data web service by noon on April 28, 2017 — the last day of the current continuing resolution. If Congress does not pass a budget, we will be facing a government shutdown and won’t be able to give technical direction to continue any work.”

The EPA Open Data web service includes detailed toxic chemical information, a 30 year history of toxic chemical releases reported by industrial and federal facilities, collected and curated by the EPA’s flagship Toxics Release Inventory Program. Per the EPA, “TRI data supports informed decision-making by communities, government agencies, companies, and others.”

Image credit: copyright Eric Holubow, Steel factory in Steubenville Ohio

The EPA Open Data Web service provides human and machine readable information on over 4 million regulated facilities, and related environmental data. The EPA’s Open Data service website is both the Agency’s and U.S. Government’s largest Web standards-based Linked Open Data Web service.