Using technology to share information on environmental hazards

Environmental Defense created in 1998 to inform people about the level of pollution in their area and to encourage them to lobby the offending industries and their elected representatives to put a stop to it.

The organization uses highly innovative technology to retrieve information from 300 scientific and governmental databases. With this information, Scorecard reviews and categorizes the information about harmful environmental hazards such as air pollutants, toxic chemicals released into the environment, potential land contamination and more. Scorecard then posts the information on its website. It shows the location of the pollution, its source, when it was discovered, what (if any) government guidelines or restrictions apply to the clean-up process and how far along that clean-up process is.

This information is available on the site in several formats. The most widely used format allows the visitor to type in a zip code and see all the different types of pollutants in their area. Other formats include a ranking of the best and worst states for certain pollutants. The site also lists over 6,000 chemicals, with a description of the dangers and sources of these pollutants.

Visitors to the web site are encouraged to fax a letter to the polluting industry, write a letter to their elected representative or volunteer for a local organization working in the community.


New Tactics in Human Rights does not advocate for or endorse specific tactics, policies or issues.