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1998 News Releases


EPA Grant Will Help North Texas Residents Get Environmental Data Easily

Release Date: 11/2/1998
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     What is the ozone level today? Is there anything dangerous in the soil in the park where our kids will play this afternoon? Are the fish I caught today safe to eat?

     Citizens have found answers to these and dozens of other important questions about our environment difficult and time-consuming to get. When found, the information was often out of date or difficult to understand.

     A two-year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant to the City of Denton will help make these answers easier to get and to understand. Denton has been selected to receive one of eight Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) grants awarded nationwide.

     "EPA is committed to making timely, accurate and understandable information readily available so that families can make informed decisions about their daily lives. The Denton project to monitor and report local environmental data will help citizens and industries throughout north central Texas as we work together to protect public health and our environment," Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     The $484,868 grant will allow the City of Denton to work with researchers at the University of North Texas to inform citizens in Denton, the Elm Fork watershed and the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area about current, historical and near-term forecasts of environmental conditions.

     Advanced monitoring equipment will allow researchers to collect real-time measurements of air and water quality, ultraviolet radiation and other environmental factors.  Innovative methods, including satellite imagery, will be used to combine data gathered from air, water and land measurements to give people a more complete and accurate view of the local environment.

     To ensure the information is useful, the second phase of the project includes a variety of  community education activities. Six workshops will show citizens how to access the information on the Internet and how to use it to make environmentally responsible decisions.

     Specific seminars will be presented to senior citizens to teach them how to use the Internet and how to interpret and apply the environmental information. To reach children, a curriculum will be created for grades 5, 8 and 11-12 and monthly teacher workshops presented.