ABOUT SCORECARD|Frequently Asked Questions



WHY AREN'T LOCAL POLLUTION SOURCES I KNOW ABOUT INCLUDED IN SCORECARD?
Many visitors ask why some local source of pollution is not profiled by Scorecard. Our service is limited to publicly available data on polluters collected by federal regulatory agencies and distributed in digital form. We do not have the resources required to compile state or local data on pollution sources. This means that some important sources of local pollution escape Scorecard's spotlight. Airports, for example, are not required to report to the federal Toxics Release Inventory, so they cannot be included in Scorecard's reports on
toxic chemical releases, although they are included as sources of smog and particulates. Many abandoned hazardous waste sites and brownfields are also not covered by Scorecard, because national datasets are only available for Superfund sites.

Please be sure to search for polluters if you can't find a source you want information about. Searching for facilities by company name or city of interest will often turn up what you are looking for.

WHY ISN'T SCORECARD INFORMATION MORE UP TO DATE?
Scorecard provides the most current data that are publicly available. Unfortunately, many of the regulatory programs Scorecard relies upon to provide pollution information operate with significant time lags that lets polluters escape real-time scrutiny of their performance. EPA's Toxics Release Inventory, for example, discloses chemical releases to the public two years after companies actually release chemicals into the environment. Environmental Defense is working with EPA to accelerate public disclosure of toxics releases, and encourages users concerned about this time delay to use Scorecard's email action tool to
send a message to the EPA Administrator to speed the process up.

Scorecard is regularly updated whenever contributing data sources are revised. Some of Scorecard's sources provide close to real-time data (air quality profiles, for example, are based on monitoring of smog and particulates levels in the previous year); other sources provide information that is updated less regularly (hazardous air pollutant profiles, for example, are based on 1996 emissions inventories.)

WHAT IS PERSONALIZATION AND WHY SHOULD I REGISTER?
Personalization allows you to customize how Scorecard displays information for you (with graphics, or text-only) and it helps Scorecard do things for you (such as send a fax to a polluting company signed with your name and address). To personalize Scorecard, our website needs to keep a record on your preferences (you want to see the graphics) together with your identifying information (name, address, email). Registration is also required in order to post messages into Scorecard's Discussion Forum.

The information we collect will not be distributed to anyone else for any purpose. When you register, you are given the option of subscribing to ongoing email communications from Environmental Defense, the nonprofit organization that publishes Scorecard. If you opt-in, we will send you an email newsletter and advocacy alerts. If you decline, you will not be contacted by Scorecard or Environmental Defense and your identifying information will not be shared with anyone. Read more about Environmental Defense's privacy policy.

For personalization to work, Scorecard needs to set a cookie on your computer that alerts it to who you are whenever you come to the website. If you have set your browser to reject cookies, or refuse to accept Scorecard's cookie, we cannot personalize the site for you. Scorecard's cookie is not being used for any nefarious purposes, and we encourage you to accept the cookie. If you reject Scorecard's cookie, you will not be able to send faxes or emails from the system, and you will not be able to post messages into Scorecard's Discussion Forums. You will still be able to control whether you want the site to display in text-only or graphics mode by using the display switch on Scorecard's home page. You will also still be able to read Scorecard's Discussion Forums.

We ask you to provide a password because sometimes we need to verify your identity. Your password is required to change or update your account information, or if you are trying to send a fax and need to show the system that you are already a registered user, or if you want to access your personal workspace on Scorecard.

HOW CAN I SPEED UP THE DISPLAY OF CHEMICAL LISTS OR POLLUTER RANKINGS?
Scorecard pages that provide long chemical lists or polluter rankings are relatively large files, so they will inevitably take some time to download. Older browsers may have difficulties rendering pages that contain large data tables. Scorecard provides an easy way to speed up the display of these pages:
Go to your
personal workspace and modify your display preferences by setting "you prefer text only" to yes. Without graphics, all Scorecard pages load and display much faster. The text-only version of Scorecard contains all the same information and links as the graphically enhanced version. You can change back to the graphics version whenever you want by returning to your workspace and setting "you prefer text only" to no. You can also flip back and forth between Scorecard display styles using the graphics/text-only version switch at the bottom of Scorecard's homepage.

HOW CAN I GET MORE THAN THE TOP 100 CHEMICALS, FACILITIES, OR AREAS IN A SCORECARD RANKING LIST?
To ensure quick download times and slow rendering pages, Scorecard automatically truncates ranking lists after the top 100 items are displayed. In some cases, the number of facilities, chemicals, or areas exceeds 100 and may exclude what users are looking for. It is easy to get the entire list, but be forewarned that some lists are extremely long (for example, Scorecard polluter rankings include over 20,000 facilities).

Follow these steps to get a complete Scorecard list: Go to Scorecard's homepage or to your personal workspace and turn off Scorecard's graphics by selecting "text-only" display. Then request the page you want. If a list is truncated, examine the URL in the "address" (Internet Explorer) or "location" box (Netscape) of your browser. Find and delete the term "&how_many=100" from the URL, and then "reload" the page. This will give you the entire list for the criteria you selected. You can also change the number "100" to some other value to get a list of whatever length you choose.

HOW CAN I DOWNLOAD THE INFORMATION IN SCORECARD?
There are two ways to download information from Scorecard. The first way is to simply highlight the text or data you are interested in with your mouse, copy it using the "Edit" function "Copy," and then paste into a document or spreadsheet. This is an easy way to capture small tables in reports or profiles. For frequently requested data, Scorecard provides information in a .csv (comma separated values) file. CSV files are easy to open in most word processing, spreadsheet and database programs - just let your application know you are trying to open a text-only csv file. Scorecard provides csv files of all of its health effect and regulatory lists, as well as other important data (for example, Scorecard's risk assessment values and risk scores).

WHEN WAS SCORECARD'S INFORMATION LAST UPDATED?
Last modification of data utilized by Scorecard:

Smog and Particulates November 2004
Toxic Chemical Releases September 2004
Chemical Profiles September 2004
Health Effects September 2004
Regulations September 2004
Lead Hazards January 2004
Superfund March 2004
Hazardous Air Pollutants February 2002
Water September 2000
Animal Waste October, 1999

Index of available Scorecard reports for search engines.