ABOUT SCORECARD|Scorecard's Data Sources

Scorecard's Data Sources Scorecard integrates over 400 scientific and governmental databases to generate its customized profiles of local environmental quality and toxic chemicals. Since Scorecard draws all its data from authoritative sources and combines them using state-of-the-art informatics, users can be confident they are receiving credible information that reflects the best available science. All data sources are clearly cited on Scorecard, with hyperlinks back to online references whenever available. Scorecard is committed to publishing the most current environmental data available, and is regularly revised as its data sources are updated.

Currently, Scorecard's major sections acquire data from the following sources:

Scorecard combines data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory with information on the potential health hazards of toxic chemicals. The data available on Scorecard covers chemical releases in 2002. EPA released TRI data for 2003 in May 2005; it is currently being processed for incorporation into Scorecard.

Scorecard uses uses housing and demographic measures from the 2000 Census as indicators of potential lead hazards. In the absence of local data on blood lead levels in children, these indicators are considered by scientists and regulators to be useful for identifying potential problem areas. Other sources used to investigate lead hazards include the CDC reports, Surveillance for Elevated Blood Lead Levels Among Children -- United States, 1997-2001 and The Second National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.

Scorecard's profiles of Superfund sites are derived from multiple sources dating from 1993 to 2004. Primary sources include: NPL Fact Sheets maintained by EPA regions, and four EPA databases: the Superfund National Assessment Program (SNAP), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) database in Envirofacts; the Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) database; and the Remedial Program Managers (RPM) database. New Superfund site listings and factsheets are added to Scorecard as they are announced; EPA has not indicated when it plans to update its PRP and RPM datasets.

The poor air quality that many Americans know as smog and soot is due to what are technically labeled criteria pollutants, like ozone and particulate matter. Scorecard's exposure and emissions information for criteria air pollutants is derived from two U.S. EPA sources: the Air Quality System and the National Emissions Trend database. Scorecard covers criteria air pollutant exposures in 2003 and emissions in 1999. EPA released exposure data for 2004 in April 2005; it is currently being processed for incorporation into Scorecard.

Scorecard combines exposure data from U.S. EPA's National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment with toxicity data to estimate the health risks posed by chemical pollutants in ambient air. EPA provides estimates of ambient air concentrations based on 1996 emissions data, but these are generally consistent with current state monitoring data (2001-2004). EPA's next comprehensive national-scale assessment will be based on 2002 emissions data.

Scorecard's profiles of Clean Water Act status and watershed health are derived from three U.S. EPA sources: the 1998 TMDL Tracking System, the 1999 Index of Watershed Indicators, and the 1998 National Water Quality Inventory: 1998 Report to Congress. States submitted updated information on Clean Water Act compliance status to EPA in 2000, and the National Water Quality Inventory is updated biennially for Congress (2000 update expected in 2002). EPA watershed indicator data utilize information compliled over the period 1990-1999.

Scorecard combines livestock population data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with waste factors developed by the agricultural community to estimate the amount of animal waste that livestock operations produce. Scorecard reports on animal waste production in 1997. USDA released its 2002 Census of Agriculture in early 2005.

Scorecard integrates data from a large number of scientific and regulatory sources in its chemical profiles. Human health hazard information is compiled from over 100 separate data sources to identify recognized and suspected toxicants. Hazard rankings of chemicals are collected from five scoring systems. Chemical use information is drawn from EPA databases covering industrial uses, consumer products and pesticides. Environmental release information is drawn from the toxic chemical and criteria air pollutant sections of Scorecard. Regulatory coverage data is complied from major American environmental statutes. Information about the availablity of basic toxicity testing is derived from a 1998 EPA study of high production volume chemicals. Risk assessment values are derived from a variety of state and federal references. Scorecard's chemical profile information is updated quarterly.

Scorecard publishes the results of comparative risk projects that have been undertaken by local, state or federal regulatory agencies over the last decade. The dates of these priority-setting projects range from 1990 - 1999.