Geographic Analysis- Based
This approach involves comparing lists or databases of ECE programs with lists or databases of facilities or locations where hazardous chemicals might be present. Facilities of concern might include hazardous waste sites, landfills, dry cleaners, and auto body shops. Areas of concern might include those with plumes of groundwater contamination, high radon, or arsenic or uranium in groundwater. Comparisons of ECE program databases with other databases of potential problem locations can
- Use geographic information system (GIS) mapping to find ECE programs within a specified geographic distance (for example, within 1/8 mile) from a source of hazardous chemicals.
- Identify ECE programs on or near locations having hazardous chemicals.
- Screen locations being considered for a new ECE programs.
To fully use this approach, a state must have access to databases of geocoded locations. To be fully effective, geocoded data must be updated regularly and database comparisons must be done regularly. For many states, geocoded data are not available. It can be resource intensive to create geocoded databases. Additionally, lists of locations where hazardous chemicals are present might not be comprehensive. For example, problem locations, such as old orchards or cropland, might not be included on any hazardous waste sites lists. If the state is interested in pursuing this approach, it is important to identify the agencies with the databases or lists you need. This may include state, local, EPA, or other federal agency-managed data systems. Some data might be easily accessible. For access to other types of information, memoranda of understanding or data sharing protocols might be needed.
For non-geocoded lists of addresses, an option is to manually cross-check ECE program addresses with addresses of sites where hazardous chemicals might be present. You can use the manual crosscheck procedure to identify an ECE program on the same street address as a potential problem location. This crosscheck can be done for existing ECE programs and for an address being considered for a new program. A major drawback to this approach is that using a street address match might miss nearby locations on other streets. Manual crosschecks also take more time to conduct than electronic database comparisons.
The database comparison approach to finding problem ECE programs and locations often can be done with existing resources.