United States
                    Environmental Protection
                                      Information Resources
January/February 1997
EPA220-N-97-002  U-"
                    The  Catalyst
                    Information for Environmental Action
                    A Service for EPA HQ Staff from the Headquarters Information Resources Center

                    EPA Expanding Its Internet Presence
       Over the past two months, many EPA Offices and Initiatives have established a presence on the
World Wide Web using EPA's Internet server and the services provided by the Internet teams available in the
Headquarters Information Resources Center.  Now, from the Internet, citizens, the regulated community, and
our partners in environmental protection can find new information on grants, global warming, and
environmental impact statements.  The abstracts below are just a few of these new offerings as listed in
recent editions of the Internet Newsbrief, a weekly current awareness service provided by the Headquarters
Information Resources Center.
EPA Office of Grants and Debarment
The EPA Office of Grants and Debarment has
developed a new site for their Grants Administration
Division, and Suspension and Debarment Division.
These divisions are responsible for general EPA
grants information and for coordination of granting
throughout the agency.  EPA expends over 50
percent of its total annual budget in assistance
awards in the form of grants, cooperative
agreements, and interagency agreements. The site
offers information about  available opportunities and
links to EPA Grant Programs as listed in the Federal
Domestic Assistance Catalog.

Air Links
The EPA Office of Air and Radiation has compiled a
collection of air pollution hot topics with links to
frequently requested information about air quality. In
addition to program divisions and specific legislative
information, information about the proposed new
ozone and paniculate matter air quality standards is

EPA Office of Federal Activities
The EPA Office of Federal Activities (OFA) maintains
the national system for filing Environmental Impact
Statements (EISs) prepared by other Federal
agencies and assures compliance with the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The office also
provides technical assistance for environmental
compliance, enforcement, and impact assessment in
other countries. The site includes recent actions
taken by the OFA; a listing of recent Environmental
Impact Statements available for review; information
on where and how to file an EIS; the EIS rating
system explained; and various EIS activities and
statistics.  .
                                       U.S.-Mexico Border XXI Project
                                       The EPA has introduced this new site as an alliance
                                       of organizations dedicated to environmental progress
                                       on the Mexican-US Border Lands. The Border XXI
                                       program is a binational, interagency program aimed
                                       at protecting and improving the environment and
                                       environmental health while fostering sustainable
                                       development in the U.S./Mexico border area.
                                       Objectives which are central to the Border XXI
                                       Program include public involvement, decentralization
                                       of border decision making, and increased
                                       cooperation  between the different governmental
                                       agencies operating in the border region.

                                       EPA Office  of Inspector General (OIG)
                                       EPA has established a home page for its Office of
                                       Inspector General (OIG). The OIG's role is to review
                                       EPA's financial transactions, program operations,
                                       contracts,  and administrative activities; investigate
                                       allegations or evidence of possible criminal and civil
                                       violations; and promote economic, efficient, and
                                       effective Agency operations. The OIG is also
                                       responsible for reviewing EPA regulations and
                                       legislation. It is the Agency's fiscal and operational
                                       watchdog. The site includes IG testimony to
                                       Congress; information about the OIG hotline for
                                       reporting fraud, waste abuse and mismanagement;
                                       as well as OIG Reports and their strategic plan.

                                       Environmental Data Registry
                                       The Environmental Data Registry (EDR) contains
                                       information about data elements and the respective
                                       data element concepts.  The system is being
                                       provided by the EPA Office of Information Resources
                                       Management and its Enterprise Information
                                       Management Division This is an initial
                                       implementation of the Environmental Data  Registry.
                                       Expanded and enhanced capabilities will be provided
                                       in future versions, (continued on next page)
     tal Pr
 EPA Information Resources Center (3404) WSM2904 202-260-5922
oieciion Agency

      12th  Floor

EPA Storefront of Environmental Tools
The EPA has introduced a collection of community-
based environmental protection tools designed to
help individuals and communities tailor solutions that
fit their needs. Included in this tool kit are Internet
resources containing guidance documents,
databases, mapping tools, hotlines, and fact sheets.
Many of these resources are already available on the
EPA homepage; however, this tool kit provides easy
access to a number of tools targeted specifically at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Global
Warming Web Site
The EPA home page on Global  Warming has been
developed as a window to the global warming issue.
The site includes information pertaining to the
science of global warming; international and U.S.
Government policies and programs; opportunities for
individuals and corporations to help stop global
warming; state and local actions that help mitigate
greenhouse gas emissions; and easy ways to obtain
more information by fax, email and electronic order
form.  This web site is served by the Waste Policy
Institute for the EPA Office of Economy and

Environmental Justice Through Pollution
Prevention Grant Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has
introduced a homepage for information on
Environmental Justice through the Pollution
Prevention (EJP2) grant program.  The program
encourages focused attention on the need to more
actively ensure equitable environmental protection
for all, and to empower those most often
disenfranchised from the decision-making process-
the poor and people of color. Through the EJP2
grant program, EPA provides financial assistance to
help minority and low-income communities address
emerging environmental issues  by using pollution
prevention as the solution rather than traditional
pollution control techniques. The  site offers the
Federal Register notice of availability, the EJP2
guidance documents, listings of prior grant awards,
application forms and a listing of frequently asked
questions.    >

       There is a new service available from the
Information Resource Center, for all EPA Headquarters
staff. The IRC has contracted with  Cambridge
Scientific for a service that includes various searchable
 databases available at an easily accessible Internet
        Environmental Sciences and Pollution
 Management is one of four main database files
 available after signing on to the service. It includes
 twelve subfiles that can be searched individually or
 simultaneously.  All have citations, many have
 abstracts as well. The current files have information
 back through 1991; those files with archives have
 records back through the 1980's. The twelve subfiles
    Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology
    ASFA 3: Aquatic Pollution & Environmental Quality
    Ecology Abstracts
    EIS: Digests of Environmental Impact Statements
    Environmental Engineering Abstracts
    Health &  Safety Sciences Abstracts
    Industrial & Applied Microbiology Abstracts
      Microbiology A)
    Bacteriology Abstracts (Microbiology B)
    Pollution  Abstracts
    Risk Abstracts
    Toxicology Abstracts
    Water Resources Abstracts
        Environmental Periodicals Bibliography
 provides access to tables of content of over 450
 scientific, technical and popular journals that focus on
 many environmental issues including pollution, policy,
 legislation and enforcement. The coverage range is
 from 1991 to the present. Updates are bimonthly with
 over 25,000 records added annually.
        Two other databases offered by the service are
 Medline and Toxline, both with coverage from 1991.
 Toxline offers a subset of the entire NLM Toxline
 database, including among other files, Toxicity
 Bibliography and Developmental and Reproductive
 Toxicology but this version does not contain
 information from Chemical Abstracts Service, BIOSIS,
 or International Pharmaceutical Abstracts. Medline on
 this service contains over 1.9 million citations and
 abstracts, directly from the NLM database.
        These databases can be searched, using the
 query form, by author or title or "words in any field". A
 "box for experts" allows searching for different fields at
 the same time. For example, searching for PY=1995
 and DE=pollution and AB=wastewater OR effluent
 would narrow the search to a particular year and
 descriptor and focus the search for particular words in
 the abstract. Truncation can be used as well.  Help
 screens explain the search procedures clearly and are
 easily accessible.
        The other service offered by CSA is the
 Environmental RouteNet. A current awareness service
 for environmental issues, this section offers informa-
 tion on news briefings, daily news.updates on legisla-
 tion and regulations, state information, digests of
 environmental impact statements, tables of content for


 over forty journals, hot web sites and much more.  It
 can be searched globally or by individual offering.
        The service is available at the CSA Internet
 address. It can be accessed at any Headquarters
 building by any staff member with Internet access.
 For those not yet connected, the IRC offers terminals
 with Internet access for your usage. Information can
 be printed or downloaded to a disk. For more informa-
 tion, or for a demonstration, please call the IRC
 reference desk at  260-5921.       >
   EPA's Government Information

         Locator Service (GILS)
 What is GILS?
        The Government Information Locator Service
 (GILS) is an electronic public resource which
 identifies major information resources throughout the
 federal government, describes the information available
 in these resources, and provides assistance in
 obtaining that information. GILS is essentially a
 pointer device which can lead a user to publicly
 available government information. EPA's GILS points
 to a wealth of major information resources available
 within the Agency.
        The types of resources described in GILS
 include databases, hotlines, clearinghouses, and
 publications catalogs. The GILS records forthese
 resources are not the resources themselves, but are
 descriptions of the resources which inform users what
 information is available, where it is located, and how it
 can be accessed. In cases in which the information
 resource exists in electronic form, a direct link to that
 resource from the GILS record will usually be

 What's  New with EPA's GILS?
        In 1996 a professional librarian and a library
 technician were hired to support EPA's GILS from the
 IRC. The GILS staff maintain the GILS records and
 the GILS web pages, assist members of the public in
 finding EPA information, and assist EPA staff in
 creating new GILS records.
        We are redesigning the GILS site on EPA's
 home page.  Check out our new look at http://
        Underthe GILS initiative, the staff of the IRC
 are responding to over 200 email requests each week
 which come in via EPA's web site and the GILS web

 How Can GILS Help Me Do My Job?
        Information is vital to performing your job well,
 but it is often difficult to locate the information that you
 need. GILS can help you locate and obtain this
 information in two ways. First, you can search and
 browse EPA's GILS records. For instance, if you want
 to know what EPA resources exist to help small
 businesses comply with environmental regulations,
 you can search or browse with the term "compliance"
 and find GILS records for four Small Business
 Compliance Assistance Centers. The records
 describe these resources, include contact information,
 and link directly to the web sites for the centers.
        Second, if you can't seem to find what you
 are looking for in GILS, you can submit a request via
 email directly from the GILS web site. The reference
 staff of the IRC will research your request and help you
 to find either an answer or an appropriate referral for
 more information. We also provide this research
 service to members of the public.
        EPA's GILS can also help you do your job by
 letting the public know about Agency information that
 you make available. Our GILS web pages have been
 accessed over 50,000 times by  members of the public
 looking for the information they need. There are
 currently over 240 records in GILS, and we are always
 looking for new resources to include.

 How Can I Have My Information Described in
       If you are responsible for a major EPA
 information resource which you would like to have
 included in GILS, please contact the GILS  support
 staff in the IRC at 202-260-8670, or via email at GILS-
 CENTER. You can also submit a draft GILS record
 from EPA's Intranet at http://epawww.epa.gov/gils.
Did You Know?...
       The IRC reference staff responds to over
200 email messages from the public each week as a
part of EPA's Government Information Locator
Service (GILS). Most of these messages are sent to
us from the EPA's World Wide Web site. The
messages include requests for EPA publications,
comments on EPA policy, and requests for
assistance in finding EPA information. Our staff
researches each request and either provides an
answer or an appropriate referral within the Agency.
       Here are some examples of the types of
messages that we receive:
       How can I get a job or internship at the
       Who manufactures the pesticide with
registration number 537-95, and what is its
regulatory status?
       I need to know how to get EPA models,
test methods, and publications.

                                   PAGE 3

       What are the health effects of being
 exposed to aniline?
       I think that a company in my community
 is violating environmental regulations  what
 should I do about it?
       Is there a  way that I can find the
 environmental history of a particular company
 from ERA'S web site?
       Can you email me a list of cities which
 are required to use Stage II Vapor Recovery
 systems at gas service stations?       >

 Conferences, Meetings,

      Symposiums, Workshops
       This is a list of selected meetings and
 conferences chosen for their potential interest
 to EPA staff.  If EPA staff wish to have an EPA-
 sponsored event  listed here, please forward  the
 information to The Catalyst, IRC, 401 M St.,
 SW-3404, Washington, DC  20460 or email
 Emission Inventory:  Planning for the Future
 Call for papers. October 28-30,1997, Research
 Triangle Park, NC. Abstracts due by April 15, 1997.
 This is the seventh annual symposium on emission
 inventories and is sponsored by the Air and Waste
 Management Association (A&WMA), US EPA Office
 of Air Quality Planning and Standards and US EPA
 Office of Research and Development.  For more
 information contact Registrar, A&WMA at
 412-232-3445 or 412-232-3444 ext.3142.  *
United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC 20460
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