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HUD Launches Upgraded Version of HUD E-MAPS

November 22, 2000

WASHINGTON ? U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today unveiled an upgraded version of HUD E-MAPS, the agency?s highly popular environmental mapping site, that provides users with more mapping options and greater access capacity.

With a few mouse clicks at www.hud.gov/emaps, people can find out whether the Environmental Protection Agency is monitoring a site near a home they want to buy, what federal resources are available to redevelop an abandoned factory, or if there are any environmental hazards on the way to their children?s school.

Today?s upgraded version can create up to 8,000 environmental maps an hour, provide U.S. Census data for any and every neighborhood in the country, enable users to work simultaneously with multiple map layers at multiple sites, and provide for easier entry and linking with other data bases.

"Demand for HUD E-MAPS information has been explosive," Cuomo said. "Based on comments from our customers, we are enhancing the site?s capacity, expanding available data sets and making the site easier to use. Information is power and we want to make sure every citizen, local government and advocacy organization has the power to get the information they need to make environmentally-smart decisions about the futures of their families and communities."

Initially launched by Cuomo in mid-September, HUD E-MAPS has been featured as a "hot site" by ABC.com, CNN, USA Today and other media outlets. Since its inception, the site has had from 10,000 to 50,000 hits a day.

HUD E-MAPS combines site-specific EPA databases with HUD?s Community 2020Ô software, winner of an Innovations in Government Award from the Ford Foundation and Harvard University?s Kennedy School of Government. The HUD software is able to provide users with more than 600 types of census data for geographic areas as big as a state or as small as a block.

HUD E-MAPS enables communities to make informed policy decisions in a number of ways. HUD E-MAPS data can help communities make environmentally informed decisions about the sites for new housing complexes or projects, or help communities prioritize the demolition of existing complexes.

Similarly, a community interested in redeveloping Brownfields, which are abandoned or underused industrial sites, can use HUD E-MAPS to help determine what financial resources are available to leverage the project, including information about possible tax incentives.

The software has been used by almost 30,000 people since first introduced in late 1997 to expand the use of government data by communities and individuals and provide a platform for "e-democracy" -- the use of computers to bring citizens closer to the decision-making of their government. HUD is working with Veterans Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation and other federal agencies to encourage them to overlay databases onto the HUD software to make it an even more powerful tool.

Under the HUD E-MAPS system, EPA data and information from seven of its environmental reporting and monitoring systems can be electronically retrieved for any neighborhood, census tract, city or county in the nation. The data now available includes:

Site-specific information about every EPA Superfund site as well as descriptions of the laws and regulations governing the Superfund program.

A listing and description of Brownfields where expansion or redevelopment is limited by real or perceived environmental contamination.

Reports about air pollution emitted from electric power plants, steel mills, factories, universities and other sources.

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 permit, regulatory compliance and clean-up activities of each entity.

Trend analyses of hazardous waste generation.

Information about which companies have been issued permits to discharge waste water into the nation?s rivers, including the expiration date of the permit, how much a company is permitted to discharge, and how much and what the company has discharged.

Source: Dept. of Housing and Urban Development



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