About the Data

ECHO data focuses on compliance- and enforcement-related information for EPA-regulated facilities, including:

  • Permit data
  • Inspection/compliance evaluation dates and findings
  • Violations of environmental regulations
  • Enforcement actions
  • Penalties assessed

ECHO includes EPA and state, local, and tribal environmental agency compliance and enforcement records that are reported into EPA national databases. ECHO also incorporates many EPA environmental datasets to provide additional context for analyses.  Learn more about:


ECHO Data Sources and Refresh Dates

Below is a summary of data included in ECHO. The time period of data displayed throughout ECHO can vary:

  • The past five years of facility inspection and enforcement data (from the date of extraction from the national data system of record) are presented.
  • The past three years of facility compliance data are presented as quarters of compliance (three-month periods) based on the federal fiscal year.
  • All years of EPA formal enforcement action data from EPA's Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) are available via the EPA Enforcement Case Search.
  • Additional years of data are available in the ECHO Downloads.

Data are typically refreshed on a weekly schedule from EPA source databases. The most recent and next expected refresh dates are provided in the table below. Note that fiscal year data used in the Comparative Maps and State Dashboards are typically frozen at the beginning of the following year (e.g., fiscal year 2014 data were frozen in early 2015). Data for the current fiscal year to date are updated consistent with the table below. For information about known issues with ECHO data, please see the Known Data Problems page.

DatabaseDescriptionDate Data ExtractedExpected Next Extract
FRSThe Facility Registry Service (FRS) contains facility identification information.10/23/202110/30/2021
AFSThe Air Facility System (AFS) contained data regarding regulated Clean Air Act stationary sources and their compliance records. (For information on the transition to ICIS-Air, see How New National Air Data System Affects ECHO Data Display.)10/17/2014None
ICIS-Air

The Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) for Air contains data regarding regulated Clean Air Act stationary sources and their compliance records. The types of facilities that report to ICIS-Air, at a minimum, are:

  • Majors
  • Synthetic Minors
  • Sources subject to 40 CFR Part 61 (NESHAP)
  • Any facility subject to formal enforcement
  • Any facility where a High Priority Violation has been identified
For more information about reporting, refer to the Information Collection Request (ICR) Supporting Statement (74 pp, 971K, About PDF).
10/23/202110/30/2021
ICIS FE&CThe Integrated Compliance Information System (ICIS) Federal Enforcement and Compliance (FE&C) contains EPA data for inspections and enforcement actions for the following environmental laws:
 
  • Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
10/23/202110/30/2021
ICIS-NPDESICIS National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (ICIS-NPDES) contains permit information, limits, and discharge monitoring data for facilities managed under the CWA NPDES program.

The Water Pollutant Loading Tool uses permit and discharge monitoring data from ICIS-NPDES to calculate pollutant loadings. Loading Tool data are typically refreshed on Tuesday evenings following each refresh of ICIS-NPDES in ECHO. Refer to About Loading Tool Data for further information.
10/23/202110/30/2021
RCRAInfoThe Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo) system houses data for hazardous waste handlers and includes information on treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and generators, their compliance with federal and state regulations, enforcement actions taken, and cleanup activities. ECHO includes compliance and enforcement information; other RCRAInfo data available on RCRAInfo Web.10/23/202110/30/2021
SDWISThe Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS) contains information on public water systems, including monitoring, enforcement, and violation data related to requirements established by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).10/8/20211/14/2022
CPThe Summary of Criminal Prosecutions resulting from environmental investigations database contains information on concluded criminal enforcement cases investigated or prosecuted by U.S. EPA's Criminal Enforcement Program.

Note: Dates represent when data are pulled into ECHO, not when the source system is updated.
10/23/202110/30/2021

TRI

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data include information on the release of chemicals to the environment (emitted to the air or water, or placed in some type of land disposal) and management of chemicals through recycling, energy recovery and/or treatment.

Note: As of 9/18/2021, ECHO includes 2020 TRI data.
9/18/2021Late 2022
EISThe Emission Inventory System (EIS) database contains information on stationary sources that emit criteria air pollutants and their precursors, as well as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). ECHO uses data from the National Emissions Inventory (NEI), which is updated every three years. The most recent available NEI dataset is 2017. ECHO uses the January 2021 version of 2017 dataset.

Note: Facility-level identification information is updated weekly via the Facility Registry Service.
4/30/2021Early 2023
GHGRPThe Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) offers public access to comprehensive greenhouse gas data reported directly to EPA from across the country.

Note: As of 11/29/2020, ECHO uses 2019 GHGRP data.
11/29/2020November 2021
CAMDBSThe Clean Air Markets Division Business System (CAMDBS) tracks facilities covered under the Clean Air Markets Programs, which are regulatory programs that improve air quality and public health, by reducing air pollution from large stationary sources such as power plants. These programs lower outdoor concentrations of fine particles, ozone, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), mercury, and other significant air pollutants. ECHO downloads bulk CAMD data from the Air Markets Program Data tool quarterly.

Note: Facility-level identification information is updated weekly via the Facility Registry Service. Dates represent when data are pulled into ECHO, not when the source system is updated.
10/5/2021December 2021
ATTAINSThe Assessment, TMDL Tracking, and ImplementatioN System (ATTAINS) contains information on water quality assessments, impaired waters, and total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), through data submitted by states and tribal areas under Clean Water Act sections 303(d)/305(b).

ECHO associates facility locations (latitude and longitude values) to impairment data by indexing to waterbody catchments, which are refreshed monthly.

Note: Dates represent when data are pulled into ECHO, not when the source system is updated.
10/15/2021November 2021
RADThe Reach Address Database (RAD) contains location information for facilities in Water Programs that have been linked to underlying surface water features in the National Hydrology Database Plus (NHDPlus) dataset, such as watersheds and water bodies. RAD incorporates water body location information from USGS’s Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). 

Note: As of September 2020, ECHO indexes facility locations to water features using data from ATTAINS.
September 2020None
BEACONThe BEach Advisory and Closing Online Notification (BEACON) system contains information on state beach advisory and closing data, related to requirements established under the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH) Act. ECHO associates facility locations to beach advisory data by indexing to National Watershed Boundary Dataset (WBD12) boundaries.

Note: Dates represent when data are pulled into ECHO, not when the source system is updated.
10/15/2021November 2021
Green BookGIS Shapefiles for Nonattainment and Maintenance Areas for Criteria Air Pollutants. Geographic areas may be designated as "Nonattaining" where air pollution levels persistently exceed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Nonattainment and Maintenance areas for the following standards are currently included in ECHO: Carbon Monoxide (1971 Standard), Lead (2008 Standard), Ozone 8 hr (2008 and 2015 Standards), PM 2.5 (1997, 2006, and 2012 Standards), PM 10 (1987 Standard), and Sulfur Dioxide (2010 Standard).

Note: Dates represent when data are pulled into ECHO, not when the source files are updated.
10/23/202110/30/2021
U.S. Census DataU.S. Census demographic data from the Census Block Group Data (CBG) database are included. The CBG database is derived from the 2010 Census Exit of Population and Housing Summary Tape Files 1A and 3A.2010Late 2021
EJSCREENThe Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool (EJSCREEN) contains environmental and demographic indicator data.

Note: ECHO uses data from the EJSCREEN 2020 release.
4/6/2021Spring 2022

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Data Synchronization

  • ECHO data represent “snapshots” of the original source databases and reflect the data as they existed when the data were extracted.
  • Although data are routinely updated, a lag time exists (anywhere from a week up to three months) between when data are entered into the source database and when they appear in ECHO.

Data Completeness

ECHO presents data as-reported to the original source databases. Data contained in EPA national databases generally are more complete for larger facilities. When conducting analyses, understand that the types of facilities that tend to have more complete data are described differently in each source database:

  • Clean Air Act facilities: active, "federally-reportable" sources.
  • Clean Water Act facilities: active, "major" permittees.
  • Hazardous waste facilities: operating treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and active large quantity generators.

Data for smaller facilities can vary widely (i.e., nonexistent, a partial representation, voluntarily entered by some states and not by others). Understanding the mix of required and non-required data helps with interpreting whether ECHO information is complete. Additionally, it can be helpful to consult state environmental agencies or state databases.

Additional information is available to gain a better understanding of the variability among data reporting requirements for regulated facilities:

  • Data Entry Requirements – A matrix illustrating the variability of reporting requirements for the major EPA program systems utilized by ECHO (ICIS-Air, ICIS-NPDES, RCRAInfo, and SDWIS). For example, states are not required to report violations occurring at Clean Water Act non-major facilities, thus data regarding violations at those facilities may not be available via ECHO. This matrix describes such requirements.
  • Inspection frequencies are typically based on the size of the facility, though regulators have options for determining inspection frequency:
    • For example, large or "major" facilities may be inspected/evaluated annually, on a two-year cycle, or even several times during a year
    • Smaller facilities may be inspected/evaluated every five years
    • Compliance may be determined through means other than on-site inspections/evaluations
    • Many facilities are required to self-report certain violations
    • Inspections for smaller CAA and CWA facilities may only be tracked in a state's database and not reflected in the national database
  • Information available for enforcement actions can vary:
    • Enforcement actions that have not been concluded are not displayed in ECHO (however, underlying violations are normally reported prior to completed government enforcement)
    • Note that not all violations receive formal enforcement actions - in fact, many minor violations are corrected by facilities without the need for formal action
    • Enforcement actions taken more than five years ago are not included in facility searches; however, the EPA Enforcement Case Search allows searching beyond the past five years, as will other anticipated features
    • The relevant state environmental agency may have additional information
  • Generate a comparative map by selecting the Water tab, choose "Facilities Reporting Discharge Monitoring Reports" and click "Refresh Map" to view completeness of compliance information presented in ECHO.
  • Annual Noncompliance Reports provide summary noncompliance data for CWA non-major facilities. Data from recent reports are displayed on ECHO, as are links to the reports.
  • Guide to Regulated Facilities
  • More State Data through state environmental agency websites

Data Quality

EPA, authorized or delegated states, and tribal and local jurisdictions conduct compliance assurance and enforcement activities related to federal environmental laws. Each level of government works to ensure that information contained in national databases is accurate. The migration of data from many jurisdictions to multiple national program databases is a challenging task. Some state and local jurisdictions directly enter data to national databases, while others maintain their own databases and transfer data to EPA through batch processing. Under both approaches, steps are taken to ensure that the data are of the highest quality (e.g., each national database maintains standards and procedures for ensuring data integrity on a day-to-day basis).

Data are continuously evaluated. Through periodic analysis, conference calls, and national meetings, database managers at all levels of government work to ensure quality information. Additionally:

ECHO Quality Assurance (PDF) (30 pp, 466 K, About PDF) describes the quality specifications and verification methods used to assure the quality of ECHO's user interfaces and underlying data. Quality objectives include specific goals related to functionality, accuracy, completeness, speed, security, timeliness, and accessibility.


Use of ECHO Data

The information contained in ECHO is made available to the public by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for informational purposes only. No warranty, express or implied, is made by EPA or any other agency of the U.S. Government regarding the accuracy, completeness, or currency of this information. Geospatial data provided by external parties are not independently verified by EPA and do not represent EPA's official position, viewpoint, or opinion, express or implied.

ECHO is not designed for large scale data transfers or robotic queries. EPA reserves the right to disable users that initiate robotic, programmed queries.

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