To spotlight top-ranked pollution problems, Scorecard identifies the top 20% of facilities (or zip codes, counties, or states) that have the largest pollution releases or waste generation. The rankings are relative: they tell you how a facility or area ranks compared to other facilities or areas. The rankings do not tell you whether the amount of pollution in your area is safe or unsafe.
Scorecard allows users to select the kind of pollution they are most concerned about from 39 different categories. These categories include cancer and noncancer hazards, air and water releases of chemicals associated with recognized or suspected health effects, different types of environmental releases and transfers, or total production-related waste.
Scorecard assigns ranks in comparison to all other facilities (or areas) in the U.S., as well as all other facilities (or areas) in the same state. If a facility (or area) is found to be among the top 20% in the U.S., it is assumed that that it is also among the top 20% in its state.
The top 20% rankings are based on information that manufacturing companies report to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Scorecard can rank facilities or geographic areas using only TRI data (e.g., total reported environmental releases), or using information about the health hazards of reported releases (e.g., releases of recognized carcinogens to air). For most categories, Scorecard ranks based on pounds of reported TRI chemicals. For cancer and noncancer hazards, Scorecard ranks based on pounds of benzene-equivalents and pounds of toluene-equivalents, respectively.