US Map of Biggest Polluters (Interactive)


greenhouse gas emissions map epa
Screenshot of EPA's new, interactive greenhouse has emissions map.

The EPA release a cool new interactive map yesterday that lets you check out who are the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in your neighborhood (or anyone’s neighborhood in the U.S.). It’s pretty awesome… if you’re really into protecting our climate and/or maps.

I just checked out my home town of Sarasota and some neighboring cities (wasn’t much going on in Sarasota). Interestingly, the big polluters I saw were mostly landfills (3 of them), driving home the importance of cutting our consumption and reducing our waste! The other thing I saw in that area was a big Tropicana plant that lives near a large soccer complex where I used to play a lot. Not a big surprise — that thing was pretty big. Stinkiest thing in the world when they’re burning the orange peals, too!

But, anyway, enough with my area — check out your neighborhood and learn more about the sources of global warming pollution living in your backyard… or region.

As NRDC’s Kim Knowlton notes, you can also compare the greenhouse gas output of different power plants (or types of power plants) on there. I have a feeling you’re going to have a hard time finding any solar power or wind power plants on the map. 😀

More info on what the map includes from the EPA:

“The 2010 GHG data includes public information from facilities in 9 industry groups, including 29 source categories, which directly emit large quantities of GHGs, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels and industrial gases.”

More on what this map can be used for:

“This information can be used to help businesses track emissions and identify cost– and fuel–saving efficiencies, identify industry leaders, inform policy at the state and local levels, and provide important information to the finance and investment communities.”

A little more detail:

EPA’s online data publication tool allows users to review information quickly and easily by filtering GHG data in a variety of ways including by facility, industry, location, or gas. The tool displays data in two distinct sections:

  • “Direct emitters” are facilities that combust fuels or otherwise put GHGs into the atmosphere directly from their facility. This data is the default view for the tool.
  • “Suppliers” are those entities that supply certain fossil fuels or fluorinated gases into the economy which, when combusted, released or oxidized emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This data may be found by accessing the suppliers section of the publication tool.

And, lastly, some more good resources from the EPA:

“The data collected through the GHG Reporting Program complements the U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks that the EPA has published every year since 1990. For more detail on the similarities and differences between these two sources of GHG data please review this fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 461K).”

Anyway, check out the map above and any more of that great info from the EPA today.

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