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E-M:/ HUD E-Maps -- find out about your community's enviro issues

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

     I have no idea whether this works easily, but it seems like a terrific 
     idea!  Anne Woiwode
U.S Housing & Urban Development Office UNVEILS new 
 September 18, 2000
WASHINGTON - Saying that informed decisions are 
the best decisions, Housing and Urban Development 
Secretary Andrew Cuomo today unveiled a new 
application on HUD's website that will help people 
learn about environmental matters that affect 
their communities throughout the U.S.
Need to know if the Environmental Protection 
Agency is monitoring a site near a home you want 
to buy? Or what federal resources can be marshaled 
to redevelop an abandoned factory or to protect a 
wetland in your town? Or want to know if there are 
any environmental hazards that your child walks by 
on the way to school?
Thanks to HUD E-MAPS, which was created by 
marrying HUD's Community 2020TM software to EPA 
databases, the answers to these and thousands of 
other questions are now just a few mouse clicks 
The web address is www.hud.gov/emaps
Through HUD E-MAPS we're providing people with 
detailed, site-specific information about what the 
government is doing to protect the environment or 
promote community and economic development, Cuomo 
said. Residents, advocacy organizations, local 
governments and others will now have easy access 
to data they need to have informed conversations 
and to make smart decisions about the future of 
their communities.
Joining Cuomo at today's launch were environmental 
activist and model Christie Brinkley; Denis Hayes, 
organizer of Earth Day and President of the 
Bullitt Foundation; and Greg Wetstone, director of 
programs, National Resources Defense Council. 
Denis Hayes said: Parents everywhere wonder 
whether their children's drinking water is 
polluted, and few of us know what's buried in our 
backyards. HUD E-MAPS will bring such information 
to everyone - including those in the nation's 
poorest neighborhoods. Information is power, and 
HUD E-MAPS is designed to give new power to people 
who cannot afford high-priced lawyers to protect 
their children from environmental assaults.
Greg Wetstone said: HUD E-MAPS has the potential 
to be a real asset to the environmental community 
and citizens around the country who are concerned 
about what's happening environmentally in their 
neighborhoods. We're delighted that Secretary 
Cuomo and HUD are launching this initiative and we 
welcome it.
Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club 
said: "The information contained on HUD E-MAPS 
will help communities plan smarter and healthier 
neighborhoods. Families have the right to know 
about the quality of their environment. By 
providing valuable environmental information mixed 
with housing information and population data, you 
have effectively set up a "one-stop-shopping" site 
for decision-makers and citizens alike."
By using HUD E-MAPS data, Cuomo explained, 
communities will be able to make knowledgeable 
decisions about sites for new local facilities, 
such as public and assisted housing, or help 
prioritize the demolition of existing complexes. 
Similarly, a community interested in redeveloping 
an abandoned or underused industrial site can use 
the data to determine whether the land is 
contaminated and what financial resources area 
available to leverage redevelopment.
The backbone for the application launched today is 
HUD's Community 2020TMsoftware, a CD-ROM that 
provides users with more than 600 types of census 
data for geographic areas as big as a state or as 
small as a block. Developed initially in 1997 as 
an internal project management tool, the software 
has won an Innovations in Government Award from 
the Ford Foundation and Harvard University's 
Kennedy School of Government.
The software provides detailed, site-specific 
financial, managerial, demographic and program 
information for virtually every entitlement or 
competitive grant awarded by HUD since 1992. It 
includes information on single-family and 
multi-family housing projects assisted by HUD's 
Federal Housing Administration.
Through the use of HUD E-MAPS, people can obtain: 
- Site-specific information about all Superfund 
sites as well as descriptions of the laws and 
regulations governing the Superfund program.
- A listing and description of Brownfields, which 
are abandoned, idled or under-used industrial or 
commercial facilities where expansion or 
redevelopment is limited by real or perceived 
environmental contamination. Also included is 
information about Brownfields Tax Incentive
- Zones as well as the locations of its pilot 
- Reports about air pollution emitted from such 
sources as electric power plants, steel mills, 
factories, universities and others.
- Information that tracks which facilities use, 
manufacture, transport or release some 650 toxic 
chemicals, including information about air 
emissions, surface-water discharges, releases to 
land, underground injections and transfers to 
off-site locations.
- Information about businesses that generate, 
transport, treat, store and dispose of hazardous 
waste, including the status of permits, regulatory 
compliance and clean-up activities.
- Trend analyses of hazardous waste generation. 
- Information about which companies have been 
issued permits to discharge waste water into the
nation's rivers, including expiration date of the 
permit, how much a company is permitted to 
discharge, and how much and what the company has 
HUD is also exploring with the Veterans 
Administration and the Department of 
Transportation the possibility of overlaying their 
data bases onto its Community 2020TM software.

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