Depending on your perspective, this is either terrific news or news that you could live without. Like any database, the devil is in the details. This database, like all others, can be used or abused, and must be reviewed with care. This “Washington Watch” column describes the ECHO database and discusses the reasons why regulated businesses whose facilities are listed in it should understand how the database works -- and should appreciate its broad and potentially significant implications.
ECHO: Enforcement Online, Up Close, and Real Personal
Last November, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “outed” noncompliant businesses in a big, public way. EPA announced the availability of a new pilot website -- Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO).1 The database contains searchable, facility-level enforcement and compliance information for more than 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide.