The magazine for Western Washington University
Stories

Putting Air Pollution Data on the Map

Print this story
The website toxictrends.org, produced by students and faculty from Huxley College of the Environment, is an interactive map that uses data from the EPA to illustrate local air pollution information over time.

Want to figure out your neighborhood’s relative potential risk from pollution? It’s easy as going online, thanks to a new web-based data visualization project by graduate students and faculty at Huxley College of the Environment.

Toxic Trends, an interactive, color-coded map depicting air pollution sources throughout the United States, is the work of Troy Abel, associate professor of Environmental Studies, and Jacob Lesser and Ben Kane, graduate students in Huxley’s Spatial Institute.

The trio worked with the Environmental Council of the States and used data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory and the Risk Screening Environmental Indicators program.

The project grew out of Abel’s work in his co-authored book, “Coming Clean: Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance.” Abel says he hopes the web-based application helps bring about a productive dialogue between citizens and local industries about improving environmental performance.

Try it out at toxictrends.org.