Environmental Scorecard
December 8, 2003 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Environmental Scorecard. Get the facts on local U.S. pollution. This environmental pollution tracking site is a must-see if you're worried about your hometown. The site has maps of the United States that show levels of various pollutants and a community area where you can enter your zip code and to get a list of all the environmental issues in your neighborhood.
posted by VelvetHellvis (14 comments total)
Here's a related thread.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on December 8, 2003

I searched MeFi since day one for the link. It didn't show up, so technically not a double post, rather a post in the comments and then mine on the home page.
posted by VelvetHellvis at 11:10 AM on December 8, 2003

I used to live in one of the top 3 mercury hot spots in the US ( 01810 ) , but the property values were really high and no one seemed to know about it or to give a damn. Mercury is tough on kids too, so I would have thought that the SUV driving soccer moms would have been on top of it. Not.

Most of the mercury wafted out of the air from a local, especially heavy concentration of both highways and (mainly) antiquated trash burning incinerators - really quite pathetic if you think about it.
posted by troutfishing at 11:14 AM on December 8, 2003

I live in an area with lots of refineries and paper mills, and we're in the red on all listed emissions. Many of our local refineries are grandfathered under very old emissions laws, and our part of the country is known as a "cancer alley." (This is mostly along IH10 between Houston and New Orleans.)

The good news is, housing is cheap and plentiful!
posted by pomegranate at 11:56 AM on December 8, 2003

I'm from a conservative area that ranks among the worst 10%.
I now live in an area that is considered liberal, but with a much higher population density, and it ranks among the best 40%.
Draw your own conclusions.
posted by 2sheets at 12:08 PM on December 8, 2003

I live in Dallas Texas which according to this thing is one of the highest risk areas in the country for "HAP". It's not second hand smoke from cigarettes, but diesel engines on the highways of the Big D which are the greatest contributor to ending my life prematurely. So. Why did I quit smoking eight months ago? Oh yeah. Cuz I couldn't afford smoking: taxation and laws made it impractical to continue. Yet diesel engines continue to be plentiful. Cigs are made by big business, predominantly consumed by the working class. Diesel engines are driven by the working class but owned by big business. I'm surrounded by idiots. So long as diesel is easier to use than other fuels for trucking, there's going to be no change.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:15 PM on December 8, 2003

My little corner of the Garden State.
posted by Ptrin at 12:15 PM on December 8, 2003

2sheets: I live in an area that is considered liberal, but with a high population density, and it ranks among the worst 10%. what conclusion should I draw?
posted by turbodog at 1:48 PM on December 8, 2003

thanks for link velvet...ive seen this one before but it was running on a horribly slow server.
posted by specialk420 at 3:51 PM on December 8, 2003

I'm amazed this hasn't been posted before, honestly. Scorecard has been around for years and years. I remember using it when imagemaps were really, really cool. It's a Philip Greenspun Joint, btw (nuts and bolts here). One of his first db-backed sites, if not his first.

Scorecard is a really useful visualization app. I wish there were something similar for the rest of the world.
posted by bonehead at 4:01 PM on December 8, 2003

turbodog - Perhaps people are less intelligent, in selected areas, than you think? Or just fundamentally incurious? Or superbly practiced at denial and repression?

Maybe the pollution has already had enough of an impact on their brains that they no longer care? I've wondered about this, in regards to the 01810 Mercury hotspot I used to live in. Heavy metals tend to make people forgetful, moody, inattentive, cranky........not the traits which make for close attention to pervasive but subtle environmental pollutants.
posted by troutfishing at 4:11 PM on December 8, 2003

Cool resource. Anybody know where I can buy a good airfilter?

I'd be interested too see if there are reasons for particular highs/lows. New Orleans has high CO and Nitrogen Oxides emissions. I wonder how much of that is man-made- the plants south of the river and general poor environmental issues of the city- and how much it has to do with nature- the low relative elevation of the city trapping heavier particles in the air. We do have a lot of vegitation around, though. Anybody know? I guess the word "emissions" would clue me in, but is there a breakdown of where the stuff comes from? environmental variables, industry, tourists, etc?
posted by superchris at 6:16 PM on December 8, 2003

I was surprised to discover that my county (it doesn't have neighborhood-level resolution, it just uses the zip to look up your county) isn't as polluted as I had assumed. It's only "mostly red with some orange" as opposed to the "off the charts scarybad blink blink aroogah" I had anticipated.
posted by majick at 5:44 AM on December 9, 2003

I try to get away, but they just keep pulling me back in.

/me lights a cigarette.

Screw it. I'm dying anyway.
posted by cryosis at 6:37 AM on December 9, 2003

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