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University of South Carolina Selected to Help Find New Uses for Toxics Data

Release Date: 06/17/2014
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, EPA, (404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

ATLANTA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that University of South Carolina is one of six academic partners selected for the 2014 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) University Challenge. The TRI University Challenge is a project designed to find innovative ways to increase public awareness of industrial releases of toxic chemicals in communities and around the country.

“For more than 25 years, EPA has gathered critical environmental data to provide communities with information that empowers them to protect their air, water, and land,” said Renee P. Wynn, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Environmental Information. “Through the 2014 TRI University Challenge, we hope to raise student awareness of environmental data and programs while improving research on our environmental challenges to further our work to protect human health and the environment.”

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.

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, 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 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.

More information on the TRI University Challenge: www.epa.gov/tri/university

More information about TRI: www.epa.gov/tri

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