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EPA Selects Universities to Find New Uses for Toxics Data

The EPA has selected six academic partners for the 2014 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) University Challenge, a project designed to find innovative ways to increase public awareness of industrial releases of toxic chemicals in communities and around the country.

TRI provides communities with information about toxic chemical releases to the air, water and land, as well as what industries are doing to reduce and prevent these releases. TRI helps industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public make more informed decisions to protect their health and environment.

Facilities required to report non-trade secret Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data to the EPA must file electronically as of Jan. 21, 2014.

The TRI University Challenge is open to anyone affiliated with an accredited college or university. The selected projects for 2014 were proposed by faculty and students from Drew University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Tennessee State University, the University of California Los Angeles and the University of South Carolina.

Through these partnerships, the EPA will work with six diverse academic institutions to develop practical and replicable projects focused on data visualization and analytics for improving the presentation and understanding of TRI data.

The 2014 TRI University Challenge follows the successful 2013-2014 Challenge, in which eight academic partners collaborated with the EPA on projects related to environmental education, pollution prevention, stakeholder engagement, and data mash-ups.

While there is no financial award for this Challenge, academic partners will receive support from TRI Program staff and national recognition by being featured on the TRI University Challenge website. In addition, partners will be encouraged to pursue opportunities to speak at relevant conferences and events.

The selected projects will begin in the fall of 2014 and are expected to conclude at the end of the academic year in the summer of 2015.

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