Irish regulator launches environmental map service

The Irish public can now use the internet to check their neighbourhood for potential environmental risks, thanks to a new mapping service launched by the country's Environmental Protection Agency.

The ENVision tool resembles Google Earth but includes data on air and water quality and industrial and waste sites registered with the EPA.

Earlier this year, Ireland was one of several states to fall foul of the EC for failing to make environmental information easily available to the general public.

The new tool will help the authorities address this issue.

Dr Mary Kelly, director general of the EPA said: "ENVision places environmental data where it belongs, in a local setting, and so acts as a window to the environment.

"This new online viewer is the culmination of extensive work by EPA staff on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and layers of underlying data, to provide the public with a 'what's in my backyard?' view of EPA data."

"The launch of the ENVision online viewer shows that the EPA takes its role as an environmental data provider very seriously.

"We are committed to putting measures in place to make it easier for people to access and find any environmental data they need."

As well as being of use to the curious public, ENVision is also home to more technical"specialist data such as soil and subsoils maps completed by Teagasc and the European Environment Agency and landcover data for Ireland.

This will have particular relevance to environmental engineers and environmental researchers, making it easier to access the data required.

David Gibbs



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