ABOUT SCORECARD|IS THERE A NEED FOR SCORECARD?

We recently surveyed Scorecard's online audience to learn whether there was a need for an online pollution information service. Here's what our users had to say: RESPONSES FROM GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS

Absolutely! I use Scorecard to identify the major polluters in the various zip codes where I work and to identify what pollutants are being emitted and what their health effects are. I work in several polluted areas of Philadelphia and Scorecard is vital for me and community members I work with to get important info.
C. K., Clean Water Action
Philadelphia, PA

YES. As a small non-profit community environmental awareness organization with very limited resources scorecard is an invaluable tool for exposing the companies in our community that endanger the common good.
E.S., Citizens for Healthy Growth
Denton, TX

It is absolutely essential that Scorecard be maintained. While I understand the difficulties that involves, it is the only source of its kind. I have worked with the data, as well as with EnviroFacts extensively...My concern is that scorecard not reduce in size, but perhaps take on new aspects that integrate information in a way that it hasn't in the past. The databases and information now available are powerful (if somewhat unused) tools for both individuals and research efforts. I have also referred countless numbers of people and groups to your website. I've shown teachers how to use it with their students in schools, and community groups how to use it to get some leverage in their dealings with the government or polluters.
K.B., Sciencecorps.org

GHASP has found scorecard to be very helpful as a resource for air toxics information. Our report, Where Does Houston's Smog Come From? (http://www.ghasp.org/publications/smogsources/smogsources.htm), relied extensively on data found on that website as well as some of the underlying data obtained directly from the site's technical expert. No single site is comprehensive in its approach to providing data, but scorecard.org is definitely one of the most useful. We also use toxmap, iris, and epa's air data resources. What is most useful is finding all the different risk assessment data cataloged in one place (California, EPA, etc.). I don't think this is done anywhere else and it is incredibly useful when we need to obtain information on chronic health effects of an air toxic for the Nth time.
J.W., Galveston - Houston Association for Smog Prevention (GHASP)
Galveston, TX

I have and continue to use Scorecard.org on a regular basis and although the information can be gleaned from other web resources, Scorecard presents the data in a must easier to understand way, especially for laymen who need to know this sort of information quickly, without having to have a degree in web tech. While I am unsure what your assessment will reveal from others, I can tell you that it is a real asset for people like me, in the field, who must deal with toxics issues on a daily basis.
J.B., Valley Watch
Evansville, IN

Yes, I think it is very helpful to the public to galvanize opinion and to act. Information is power and unless people know what is in their neighborhoods, they cannot act.
K.S, Community Health Public Health Nursing Administration
Los Angeles, CA

Most definitely! Lasting change requires an informed community and local action. This site is extremely important to allow community members to exert pressure on local industry branches and local/state government to clean up their practices or enforce protections on the local level.
C. R., Sustain Environmental

I think so. The EPA website which provides much of the same information is more difficult to use, and does not do the same advocay work as Scorecard. Your 100,000 hits per month should tell you that you have a popular site.
L.V, United Auto Workers

Scorecard is an extremely user friendly website that provides important information for the public-information that isn't as easily accessible in a comprehensive manner elsewhere. Many of the community-based groups that Trust for America's Health works with find the site to be very useful in their work. I do believe that the site is still needed.
A.D., Trust for America's Health
Washington, DC

Uniequivocal,Yes! There is real value in having pollution data available for various jurisdictions. The Scorecard web site is an innovative tool that had an integral role in the development of similar sites such as PollutionWatch.org in Canada. The presence of these sites and the level of information provided on the site have elevated the discussions at the municipal, provincial/state, and federal levels on the need for strong legislative and policy programs to manage pollutants effectively. Further, the web site provides much needed support to the local groups that have limited resources to access such information in a useful way. Scorecard and similar web sites further entrench the need for enhancing "Right to Know" requirements on environmental matters.
F. L., Canadian Environmental Law Association

RESPONSES FROM THE PUBLIC

YES THERE IS A NEED FOR THIS SITE!!! People dont have any clue what is going on in their backyards and being able to see this is SCARY and motivates action!
I. H., ohio.edu

Yes, I have used Scorecard many times. I live in Midlothian, TX and keep track of the pollution in the area. PLEASE to do not discontinue Scorecard. This is the only information site on pollution in the area you live or wish to move to.
D.M., Midlothian, TX

I write this only as a concerned private individual who has held up Scorecard.org as a peerless example of the Web's potential for good since Scorecard went live. If I were wealthy, I'd send money. I'm not. Scorecard.org is the one tool I've seen that can drive home, with map graphics, reports, and contextual information, some of the dangers that threaten previously unsuspecting citizens who use the site to investigate pollution near their homes, schools, hospitals, clinics, churches, workplaces, etc. It's a huge undertaking, a considerable achievement to set up and manage. I wish there were similar publicly available, no-charge Web front-ends for other databases about various sources of environment- and health degradation.
N.F., earthlink.net

Yes, In fact the need to get this information out to the disadvantaged is even more crucial as we are most impacted by the environmental injustices taking place in our communities.
D.W.,cognifast.com

YES there is a need for scorecard!! It's hard to find this information anywhere else.
S.A., hotmail.com

I believe there is a need for Scorecard. I have been using your website for a little over two years and I find it quite informative and set up to be the most reliable site I can find. Your database of information is amazing. I would be quite upset if I did not have this site at my disposal.
A. D., starband.net

This is a great site. Please find some way to save it!
E. W., columbia.edu

ABSOLUTELY!!!! Please keep the site as current as possible. The site is easy to use and contains an amazing amount of information for anyone who is considering a relocation.
M. M., Loveland, CO

Rumor has it that you are considering reconfiguring or eliminating Scorecard. I urge you not to do anything to the current format, and I say that as someone who has logged onto the site. I got the shock of my life when I saw what chemicals were floating around in the air and water in my community and what particulates I have been breathing. I also understood why the state of Rhode Island has one of the highest cancer rates in the nation and why so many of us have asthma. Scorecard is a valuable resource to communities, to individuals trying to force their city or town to clean up the existing problems, and at the very least to prevent further siting of industries that will add to the existing toxic inventory of the area.
K.F., Providence RI

RESPONSES FROM EDUCATORS

Absolutely. There is no other entity that does this. I hear Scorecard referenced frequently, and people sending others to it for information. It would be a real tragedy to lose this resource.
S.M., School of Public Policy, Univ of Maryland
College Park, MD

Yes, Scorecard is the premier information disclousre site in the world and provides a wealth of important information to millions of activists and concerned citizens. The question should be: how to make it even better, not whether or not it is needed.
J.S., Environmental Economics & Policy, University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA

Absolutely. This is a HUGE resource and is moving firms in the right direction, probably much more than industry led programs like ISO 14001 and Responsible Care. T. R. , Environmental Science and Policy, College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA

The EPA and RTK web sites are too hard to use to get this information. This is very useful.
R.B., Department of Culture and Communication, Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

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

I have often had recourse to the Scorecard and find it especially valuable now while I am researching a book about children and the environment and am trying to pin the tail on locally polluting donkeys. I probably could get the information from other sources but only with a great deal more work than my one-stop shopping at your site. Please don't abandon it.
P. S., Author, A Fierce Green Fire

The real value of Scorecard -- to me, anyway -- is that I can plug in a zip-code and get a good initial picture of what's going on (and who's making it happen) just about anywhere in the States. I find Scorecard immensely helpful in my work writing on the environment.
O.D., Rolling Stone
Phoenix, AZ

Absolutely. It's the only source I know of that helps "ordinary" people get real answers to what's in their "backyards."
M.S., Writer
Philadelphia, PA

Yes, there is still a need for something like Scorecard, both for the audiences you mention and a number of state and local government officials. As a freelance journalist for about 10 years, I regularly discover that govt officials are surprised to learn details about pollution and health effects in their community, and many want to know more.
R.W., Journalist

I use Scorecard all the time in my daily work- it is a fantastic source of information about chemicals, health effects and rankings of TRI I have also used other parts of the site on smog and air pollution. Please keep up the good work- it is an invaluable tool.
S.R., Environmental Economics International
Toronto, Canada

Yes, the Scorecard is a unique and very valuable resource, especially for grassroot citizens' groups that want to learn more about sources of pollution in their communities or to track the progress of know sources to determine if their pollution levels are changing. State environmental agencies and local public health agencies also find the Scorecard data extremely useful for many of the same reasons and as a supplement or double-check on agency records about permitted pollution levels or to identify unpermitted facilities.
S.K., National Academy of Public Administration

There is definitely a need for Scorecard. I am a registered nurse with a community health background. I realize the importance of environmental health to public health and I am aware that environmental health is important to occupational health nurses. I think that each section is important to maintain, as each person who visits your site will do so for different reasons. In order to make the site more user friendly, a simplified menu with links to the exact type of information would be helpful. I find the zip code link very helpful.
L. M., nku.edu

Yes, there's still a need. However, the spotlighting of polluters is only useful if put in context. The valuable energy of concerned citizens should be guided in an informed manner.
M. J., South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Conservation
Columbia, SC