As part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) program, the EPA has created a series of state comparative maps and dashboards that track how each state is performing in meeting EPA requirements for water, hazardous waste, and air. From an ECHO webpage:
For the three programs shown in this website (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), EPA sets national goals for how frequently facilities should be evaluated by the authorized enforcement agency (which is typically the state or local agency, but in some cases is EPA). EPA develops Compliance Monitoring Strategies (CMSs) to ensure that the regulated facilities across the country are evaluated for compliance on a regular basis. Evaluations (such as on-site inspections) are defined by each program and states and local agencies should conduct the appropriate evaluation to meet the national goals discussed below. Typically, each program has an inspection frequency schedule that recommends more frequent inspections for the larger facilities and less frequent for smaller facilities. EPA offers flexibility to the states for many of the inspection frequency goals. Under the CAA and RCRA CMSs, some states take advantage of this flexibility by submitting “alternative plans” that provide for inspection frequencies that are aligned with other priorities within the specific state. EPA reviews and approves these alternative plans, which form the basis for compliance monitoring plans within these states. The ECHO dashboards provide both national averages and national goals on some reports. There are some variations across each program on how EPA tracks alternative plans and commitments, as noted below, and EPA is working to improve the tracking of this information. This information will be included on future enhancements of these state dashboards.
Also, please note that the State Dashboards are set up only to show one year of data at a time. Some compliance monitoring goals are intended to be met over more than one year. For example, EPA may expect 100% of a certain type of facility to be inspected over five years. States may choose to spread these inspections evenly over the five years, or may decide to unevenly plan their inspections across the years. To provide a meaningful display in the State Dashboards, EPA, in the example above, would show the goal as a straight line indicating 20% per year, but it is important to understand that the actual goal is 100% over five years and not 20% per year. More details are available below.