ABOUT SCORECARD|HOW DO YOU USE SCORECARD?



HOW DO YOU USE SCORECARD?
RESPONSES FROM GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS

We have used Scorecard to publicize the TRI releases of area polluters and use that information (as well as giving the website to city staff and elected officials). The information on particulates and criteria air pollutants was useful in a local campaign to get a local brick kiln to install pollution control devices. You must realize that Texas has a godawful environmental policy (thanks to our former governor, President Bush) and grassroots activists need all the tools they can get.
E.S., Citizens for Healthy Growth
Denton, TX

I promised I would write to let you know how our local group effectively used Scorecard to advance our air quality concerns. Back In December, I discovered Scorecard after reading the book When Smoke Ran Like Water. We have one of the nation's largest cement plants in our county, Lehigh Portland Cement, and a number of us have been concerned about the effects of the plant's operations on air quality. Cutting right to the chase, we would be nowhere without the information provided to us on the Scorecard site. As concerned citizens who are by no means experts, we found the site easy to use and to understand. I personally, have spent days going through the information about the company, comparing it to other companies in its industry group and comparing Maryland to other states in the country. I started using the data in letters to the editor. Reporters quoted the data in front page stories on the issue. We put together a power point presentation for the community using Scorecard information. It has been powerful. It has opened people's eyes and made them think. We succeeded in marshaling the attention of the Maryland Department of the Environment who filed a court ordered consent decree ordering Lehigh to clean up its fugitive dust problem and fining them $90,000. In two weeks, I will be making a presentation on Lehigh and air quality at our county's Environmental Advisory Board. This subject has claimed the agenda for the last four EAC meetings. Last night, I got an email from the head of the Lehigh plant asking to meet again to address our air quality concerns. Scorecard legitimized our concerns and gave us a credible voice. We have formed an organization called CarrollAir that is seen as an emerging, constructive voice on air quality matters. We have learned so much from Scorecard. I don't know what your other priorities are but am saddened to think you will be cutting back on this site. Citizens have so few avenues for self education on the environment. This site is the best one out there. Where will we go to learn?
S. H., CarollAir, MD

We have used the scorecard in our workshops to assist community groups to obtain the information to organize. More recently, we used the scorecard, along with research trainings from the Oakland, California Data Center, to establish community-based health promotion and advocacy organizations in disenfranchised low-income and indigenous communities.
P.K., Bay Area Nuclear Waste Coalition
San Francisco, CA

Every time I need this kind of info - almost daily in tracking polluters and community complaints etc.
D.L., Global Community Monitor
San Francisco, CA

UAW Health and Safety Department uses UAW.org to link to Scorecard, so that many industrial workers can access easily the information you provide. I also like to print out the TRI data summaries and rankings, and take them with me when I visit industrial facilities to conduct Health and Safety walkarounds. Its a real eye-opener for union folks to see where their facility rates when compared to other facilities in their area. It also lets management know that I have been doing research on their facility, and that I know what I'm talking about.
L.V, United Auto Workers

Say it ain't so! Please don't let Scorecard fade away! I've been using Scorecard extensively both for professional and personal purposes. Based on the statistics, I'm part of a large community of people who gains from the site each month. Personally, I've gained from Scorecard by having a one-stop-shop for identifying polluters near my home. By doing so, I have gained talking points for discussions with neighbors, local activists, and the town Conservation Commission. I've also urged friends and family to check out their zip codes on Scorecard to become better informed about potential health impacts from polluters in their communities. Professionally, Scorecard has helped Silent Spring Institute identify many of the big players in the pollution game in Richmond, California. Richmond is a site of a new collaborative project we are undertaking. Scorecard enabled us to get a great picture of the Richmond area before ever having to step onto a plane. Armed with this knowledge, it enhanced our ability to efficiently survey the scene in person when the time was right.
The Staff at Silent Spring Institute

I run a community-based air sampling program and it helps me to find target facilities and to research the chemicals that are detected.
C. K., Clean Water Action
Philadelphia, PA

I am a volunteer for enviro groups. I review air permit applications, recommend action for citizens, prepare health effects for citizens in affected areas, respond to questions from the public. This is all offered at no charge and I am rarely reimbursed for my expenses. These groups have no money.
I.U., Dallas, TX

To study HAP air pollution in our tight valley town, part of a general effort to better regualte air toxics here (Missoula MT).
T.T., Montana-CHEER
Missoula, MT

We have used Scorecard often. We refer reporters, doctors, citizen groups, individuals, even realtors to this valuable all-in-one source. Recently I included scorecard information in a permit comment letter and chided the agency for not informing the local public about the already poor air quality in the community and how the new pollution source would impact them.
C. T., Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter
Madison, WI

To determine who the bad actors are in terms of water releases. Some of the highest ranking facilities/companies I had never heard of before I saw them on your list!
J. R., Waterkeeper Alliance
Tarrytown, NY

I periodically use the health effects portion of Scorecard and find it very useful in my advocacy work on oil and other toxic substances.
L.E., Cook Inlet Keeper
Anchorage, AK

The TFAH website has linked to scorecard.org since 2002. Specifically we link to Scorecard's Hazardous Air Pollutants Report, Lead Hazard Report, Criteria Air Pollutants Report, Environmental Release Report, and Land Contamination Report. The links are on our state pages because they have such great localized information. Also, in my work doing community outreach I have often referred communities to this website.
A.D., Trust for America's Health
Washington, DC

Your site is an invaluable educational tool. I am a 2yr law student at the University of Minnesota. Students in Introduction to Environmental Law are using your site in our environmental justice portion of the course to look at real data for communities of color in MN, and to look at the pollution data for some of the communities whose lawsuits appear in our textbook. This shows students what kinds of data would be available for an environmental justice petition and allows students to practice making arguments for and against showing disparate impacts to a community using such data. Second, your site enables individuals and grassroots community organizations access to information to pressure their legislators, environmental agencies, and courts to protect their neighborhoods from increased pollutants from new or renewal permit applicants. Scorecard is invaluable service for enviro justice activists to assess the cumulative impacts of polluting facilities in their neighborhoods. These groups do not have access to experts to assess and accumulate this data, and as such rely heavily on the data provided by your site. I have worked at a number of organizations where I refered citizens to Scorecard for this information. I have also used your site to conduct preliminary research to assess the level of environmental stressors facing a neighborhood and used that information to guide my assitance to a grassroots citizens group. The organizations where I have used your site are: Earthjustice (DC), Midwest Environmental Advocates (WI), and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocates.
J. D., University of Minnesota

We often refer activists to your site. It is a valuable tool that really needs to be available for free to the general public.
M. S., Midwest Environmental Advocates
Madison, Wisconsin

We have used Scorecard as a model for the PollutionWatch web site (www.PollutionWatch.org) which tracks pollution across Canada. The PollutionWatch web site links to Scorecard's information about the potential health and environmental effects of individual chemicals. Under our PollutionWatch project, we often refer users to the Scorecard web site to access additional information including health effects information that are not readily available. The Scorecard site also provides a way to check and compare facilities' pollution data that may be operating in Canada and the US.
F. L., Canadian Environmental Law Association

RESPONSES FROM THE PUBLIC

I have referred to this site numerous times since I learned of it. I have told every one I know to look up their area. It is SO important to have a site such as this that is easy for everyone to understand without a PHD. I hope that the powers that be continue the very important work of making us aware of who the major polluters are in our communities. I have actually based decisions on where I moved from this website! I was about to move my family to Tyler, Texas (Smith County), but reconsidered after reading about the dangerous pollutants in the county.
E. A. Small Business Owner
Lubbock, TX

I use all the information that you have within your site for different reasons. When we were looking for a cabin to buy, I used your site to find a safe environment to move and for my husband to hunt. If we ever moved to another part of the country, the environmental factors would play a large part in where we would move. I live in a very highly polluted areas - according to your site, I live in one of the top dirtiest counties of the United States. Not that I can be proud of that, but at least I know what is in the air and in our waters and I can try my best to protect our family. I have used every section of your site and I find them all informative and I don't know what I would be able to give up.
A. D., starband.net

I depend upon it for help in avoiding chemically toxic places to live.
L., yahoo.com

Yes, research for a political campaign. Scorecard was fast, easy and an irreplacable asset during crunch-time.
M. B., Sioux City, Iowa

I have emailed it to friends and family all over the country who have commented back on it and a couple who are planning to move based on areas of low pollutants.
P. M., emich.edu

I write a short column of environmental commentary for a local newspaper. I've used Scorecard to get background information, either general or specific, for my column. I try to keep all my columns as local as possible. I don't know of any other site that has as much information "sliced and diced" in the many ways that I need it. I don't know of any website other than yours that offers so many different types of comparisons in such a user-friendly way.
B.B., Milford, CT

RESPONSES FROM EDUCATORS

I am an environmental health educator working with middle school teachers through a grant from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences. I have used Scorecard often in my work, and we have even included an activity based on its use into our curriculum. Students and teachers have found Scorecard to be very useful for researching information about local environmental health threats. I hope this valuable website continues to exist.
L.R, Integrated Environmental Health Middle School Project
Seattle, WA.

I just used the Scorecard website for an activity I did with 120 7th and 8 graders. Please keep this site- it is a great resource.
S.N., Literacy for Environmental Justice
San Francisco, CA

I am a regular user of Scorecard.org, and use it annually as a irreplacable part of two major assignments in our Environmental Science and Policy II core course here. In the first, we have groups of students study one part of Scorecard, preparing a presentation and teaching the rest of the class about one class of pollutants. ..We even have students read a series of articles from Chemical Week magazine about the controversy when Scorecard was launched, one entitled "Scorecard Hits Home." In the second assignment, entitled "What's in My Backyard," students individually examine their home zipcodes, and compare them to one other location with "truly serious" environmental problems, usually nearby. By doing so, students learn about where they live and make decisions about which issues are worst and the difficulties of making comparisons. The students routinely comment on how much they have learned about what is going on in their hometowns, and they are forced to look across the nation at patterns of risk. Finally, as a scholar of environmental justice issues, I have used Scorecard for years to look at pollution and minorities, and to know what is going on in my area. As a "public scholar," I have written op-ed pieces about local coal burning power stations and used information from scorecard on chemical plants in the book "Chronicles from the Environmental Justice Frontline."
T. R. , Environmental Science and Policy, College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA

I have sent many students to Scorecard to use it. It's an invaluable resource and I hope you can find a way to keep it going. I would imagine that a collaborative of the foundations from the 2001 report on Foundations and Environmental Justice done by Danny Faber and Deborah McCarthy at Northeastern Univ. should be formed to support it, since it is so useful for EJ purposes.
P.B., Environmental Studies, Brown University
Providence, RI

I use it in teaching undergraduate and graduate students about local environmental issues. For undergraduates, I have them do a number of exercises, such as finding the toxic waste dump nearest to where they live, and write a paper about it. I also use it to introduce my graduate students to the concept of environmental justice.
R.B., Department of Culture and Communication, Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

I have used "scorecard" in my undergraduate courses in Environmental Sociology. Students made use of the site to profile polluters in their hometowns and it was one of the most engaging and insightful exercises of the entire semester. I'm grateful!
L. H., Program on Environment and Behavior, University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO

Please don't shut scorecard. I'm a community college biology professor, and I refer my environmental bio students there all the time to investigate local water and air quality issues!
J.C., Montgomery County Community College
Blue Bell, PA

I teach biology at the high school and college level. Your site provides an invaluable resource that I use for 4-10 days over the course of each class that I teach. I would not like to see it changed in any way, but unfortunately I can not help with your funding problem.
Dr. S., gmail.com

RESPONSES FROM PROFESSIONALS: MEDIA, GOVERNMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY PRACTITIONERS

I conduct environmental risk assessments of existing chemicals for Environment Canada, and I find the Scorecard to be quite useful in my work. One feature I find particulary useful is to be able to quickly look up if particular chemicals are covered under any U.S. or state legislation/regulations. I have not found the US EPA website to be very user-friendly for looking up regulatory information for chemicals. I also like seeing if the chemicals are being used and released in the U.S. (we include a section on chemical use and regulation in other jurisdictions including the U.S. in our reports; this is also important information for the risk managers). The links to other websites/reports with health and other information on the chemical are also useful. The Scorecard is certainly convenient as it provides "one-stop shopping" for many different types of information.
L. L., Risk Assessment Directorate, Environment Canada
Gatineau, Qu├ębec, Canada

As a health care giver, yes, I have used Scorecard repeatedly when dealing with toxic issues with clients. It is invaluable when it comes to evaluating what each geographical area has to offer. It is also an invaluable tool when facing relocation. This is information that needs to be available to citizens. I would not want any of the information dropped. With all the money that is wasted...on nonsensical things, it is very frustrating to think that this service is even being considered for a cut.
M. M., Loveland, CO

I use it constantly for my work conducting Cleaning Product Evaluations for schools and other facilities across New England. We list the current cleaning chemicals present at the evaluation site, note the ingredients from MSDSs, and then use Scorecard to check the health hazards information. I particularly rely on Scorecard because of the precautionary approach used, which matches our philosophy. I also recommend that custodians use Scorecard to look up the hazards of the ingredients in their products. It is an easy way for them to obtain this information. I have noted that others in the environmentally preferable cleaning products field also note Scorecard as a resource, as I do.


C. W., INFORM

Frequent user of Scorecard during my employment in a California State agency. The most helpful aspect of the site was the geographic location and quantification of emissions for specific pollutants and the media categorization of the emissions. Such information was helpful for determining which pollutants were a major source of exposure for a specific population.
J.R., California State Agency

The National Academy of Public Administration has prepared a number of studies on environmental issues for Congress, OMB and EPA. In researching each study, we have often referred to the Scorecard and almost every Academy report on environmental issues has cited the Scorecard as a source of valuable information.
S.K., National Academy of Public Administration