Environmental Protection Agency


Milestone 5 - November 30th 2014

OMB Review Complete: OMB has completed the agency review for this milestone. Agencies should contact their OMB desk officer if anything looks incorrect.

Leading Indicators

These indicators are reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget

Review Status complete
Reviewer Jamie Berryhill (
Last Updated January 13, 2015, 9:00 am EST by paulOMB

Assessment Summary

EDI: Milestones have not been updated on the digital strategy page or the Open Data Policy Implementation Plan (http://epa.gov/digitalstrategy/pdf/EPA_OpenDataPolicy_ImplementationPlan_2013Nov26.pdf), which is now out of date.

Public Engagement: EPA uses a blog to solicit feedback, although there is no sign of activity since December 2013. The blog contains a disclaimer that the posts "do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog." This begs the question where does one provide official feedback and receive official responses from EPA.

Use & Impact: BEST PRACTICE: Detailed feedback from data users. OMB will reach out to EPA to identify and share the agency's methods for identifying and surveying their top 5 data users.

"For the August 31st quarterly Open Data reporting OMB required agencies to identify and survey the top 5 users of their data. This task helped EPA to learn about how our data were used by external organizations and the impact these data had on their operations. EPA chose its five external users by focusing on organizations identified by Open Data 500 (http://www.opendata500.com/us/). EPA reviewed the Open Data 500 list and included organizations that (1) used EPA data in their business applications and (2) could provide their survey results to EPA before the survey deadline. Firms surveyed were from the energy, financial, mapping, and research sectors. EPA provided each external user with a survey form that included the questions from OMB. The feedback that EPA received was that these 5 firms used over 20 EPA datasets as well as data from other local and Federal data sources. Most of these firms integrate the data into custom applications and data products used for visualization, mapping and research. They primarily found their data through professional networks and Google, as opposed to data catalogues. The top suggestions for data improvement were more standardization and increasing the level of detailed information in the data."

Inventory Composition

Public Dataset Status

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Inventory Updated this Quarter
4375 Number of Datasets
Number of APIs
Schedule Delivered Crawl details
Bureaus represented
Programs represented
4022 Number of public datasets
142 Number of restricted public datasets
211 Number of non-public datasets
Inventory > Public listing
3.5 Percentage growth in records since last quarter
Schedule Risk for Nov 30, 2014
Spot Check - datasets listed by search engine
Agency provides a public Enterprise Data Inventory on Data.gov
License specified Crawl details
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
3565 Number of Datasets Crawl details
Number of Collections Crawl details
3565 Number of Public Datasets with File Downloads Crawl details
Number of APIs Crawl details
Total number of access and download links Crawl details
Quality Check: Links are sufficiently working Crawl details
Quality Check: Accessible links Crawl details
Quality Check: Redirected links Crawl details
Quality Check: Error links Crawl details
Quality Check: Broken links Crawl details
2.9 Percentage growth in records since last quarter
100% Valid Metadata Crawl details
/data exists Crawl details
/data.json Crawl details
Harvested by data.gov
Views on data.gov for the quarter
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Description of feedback mechanism delivered Crawl details
Data release is prioritized through public engagement
Feedback loop is closed, 2 way communication
See below Link to or description of Feedback Mechanism
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Data Publication Process Delivered Crawl details
Information that should not to be made public is documented with agency's OGC
Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
See below Open Data Primary Point of Contact
POCs identified for required responsibilities

Best Practice: Environmental Protection Agency has been highlighted for demonstrating a best practice on the Use & Impact indicator

Status Indicator Automated Metrics
Overall Progress this Milestone
Identified 5 data improvements for this quarter
Primary Uses
Value or impact of data
Primary data discovery channels
User suggestions on improving data usability
User suggestions on additional data releases
Digital Analytics Program on /data

Automated Metrics

These metrics are generated by an automated analysis that runs every 24 hours until the end of the quarter at which point they become a historical snapshot

Expected Data.json URL http://www.epa.gov/data.json (From USA.gov Directory)
Resolved Data.json URL http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-11/dcat_public_v2.json
Number of Redirects 1 redirects
HTTP Status 200
Content Type text/plain
Valid JSON Invalid Check a JSON Validator
Datasets with Valid Metadata
Valid Schema Invalid
File Size 8.04MB
Last modified Wednesday, 27-Aug-2014 10:24:02 EDT
Last crawl Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 23:05:06 EST
Analyze archive copies Analyze archive from 2014-11-30
/data page
Expected /data URL http://www.epa.gov/data (From USA.gov Directory)
Resolved /data URL http://www.epa.gov/data/
Redirects 1 redirects
HTTP Status 200
Content Type text/html
Last modified Tuesday, 18-Mar-2014 15:25:37 EDT
Last crawl Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 23:05:06 EST
Expected /digitalstrategy.json URL http://www.epa.gov/digitalstrategy.json (From USA.gov Directory)
Resolved /digitalstrategy.json URL http://www.epa.gov/digitalstrategy.json
HTTP Status 200
Content Type application/json
Valid JSON Valid
Last modified Wednesday, 18-Dec-2013 09:47:54 EST
Last crawl Saturday, 29-Nov-2014 23:05:07 EST
Digital Strategy

Date specified: Friday, 31-May-2019 09:16:54 EDT

Date of digitalstrategy.json file: Wednesday, 18-Dec-2013 09:47:54 EST

1.2.4 Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Summary

Summarize the Inventory Schedule

In 2005 the EPA developed a metadata catalog for Agency datasets known as the Environmental Dataset Gateway (EDG). In response to Project Open Data requirements the EPA CIO issued an Agency-wide data call in Fall of 2013 asking all EPA organizations to register their datasets in EDG. Since that time the Agency has been committed to increasing the percentage of EPA data cataloged within the EDG. The Office of Environmental Information works with the Agency's Information Management Officers on an ongoing basis to encourage them to ensure that data within their program offices are registered in the EDG and has increased its network of stakeholders to ensure that any datasets not identified during the 2013 data call are registered in EDG.

1.2.5 Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Milestones

TitleProvide reports to programs to identify metadata holes.
DescriptionEPA uses its registry of IT Systems, READ, to identify datasets that may not be cataloged in the EDG. The EDG team works with the data stewardship network to identify and catalog the missing datasets.
Milestone DateOngoing
Description of how this milestone expands the InventoryThis milestone allows EPA to identify and catalog new datasets that were not identified in the original 2013 data call within the Agency's Environmental Dataset Gateway, the metadata catalog which is used to create the Enterprise Data Inventory.
Description of how this milestone enriches the InventoryThis milestone brings new and important datasets into EPA's Enterprise Data Inventory.
Description of how this milestone opens the InventoryThis milestones provides additional datasets that are publicly available through both the EDG and data.gov.

1.2.6 Develop Customer Feedback Process

Describe the agency's process to engage with customers

EPA interacts with the public on its data in numerous ways including public meetings/forums, feedback buttons on websites, webinars, mailboxes, FOIA Online and help desks. Recently the Agency launched an online public data forum to communicate with the public about its data in a fully transparent manner: http://developer.epa.gov/forums/forum/dataset-qa/. This forum enables two-way, transparent feedback between the Agency and the public. It can be accessed through three different webpages: the Environmental Dataset Gateway (EDG) webpage, the Developer Central webpage, and EPA's Digital Strategy webpage.  The forum shows both the public user's question and the Agency's answer and categorizes questions to increase discoverability about specific topics. Development work is underway to embed the forum into the Agency's metadata stylesheet. This would allow people to ask questions about a specific dataset directly from a metadata record and have that question routed to the metadata owner for response.
 In addition to the Forum, EPA has developed an error correction tool which allows the public to report errors that they find relating to data, especially in relation to the geographic locations of data points. The errors are routed through a system that returns feedback to the person who has reported the error.

1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process

Describe the agency's data publication process

EPA has a number of policies and procedures concerning the publication of Agency data.  The Enterprise Information Management Policy requires all EPA Organization officials, employees, and individuals or non-EPA organizations, if applicable, to ensure information is cataloged and or labeled with metadata.  This includes geographic references, as appropriate, in EPA and Federal-wide registries, repositories or other information systems.  The EPA GeoPlatform Publishing Workflow Standard Operating Procedure and the EPA Environmental Dataset Gateway (EDG) Governance Structure and Standard Operating Procedure outline the details of EPA data publishing.
 EPA provides a range of tools and registry content (e.g. Reusable Component Services, Environmental Dataset Gateway, and Data Element Registry) through its System of Registries located at: www.epa.gov/sor. EPA is continuing efforts to document APIs through the development of an Agency-wide API Strategy.  The proposed strategy is based on 18F's API standards.  The proposal encourages the use of api.data.gov's API management platform. In addition, APIs produced by the EPA should be described using one of the common API definition formats (such as Swagger, API Blueprint and RAML).  The strategy is being finalized and an Agency-wide communication plan is being developed.  This communication plan will include Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that require API developers to register dataset APIs in the EPA's Environmental Dataset Gateway, which will allow these APIs to become part of the EPA's EDI/PDL.  All other APIs will be registered in EPA's Reusable Components Services (RCS).