Grassroots Connection is a sole proprietorship of
Rich Puchalsky and specializes in creating
public access to large databases.
Current major projects are:
- Subsidy Tracker 2.0,
a project of Good Jobs First.
Uses a database of state and local subsidies to corporations that
Good Jobs First collected from many sources, and assigns parent companies
so that the subsidies can be added up that way. Includes a list of the
Top 100 parent companies receiving subsidies, as well as state breakdowns.
- Greenhouse 100,
a project of PERI. Uses EPA GHGRP greenhouse gas pollution data to find the total CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions of parent companies and rank the 100 largest fixed source polluters in the U.S. In addition to adding up the
EPA database by parent company, the site allows users to see environmental justice population
characteristics around each facility in case they are interested in co-pollutants with local effects.
- Toxic 100,
a project of PERI. Uses U.S. Toxic Release Inventory air releases weighted by Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators geographic microdata to find the environmental justice characteristics of populations affected by large point sources of air toxics, then adds up those point sources by their parent companies to show which companies produce the highest relative risk. The Toxic 100 is widely cited as a resource for comparing companies. Grassroots Connection prepares data for the Toxic 100, codes the dynamically created part of the site, and does the final assignments of corporate parents to facilities. There is now also a Toxic 100 Water, which uses TRI water releases multiplied by their toxicity weighting.
- RTK NET, a project of the Center for Effective Government. RTK NET has provided public access to environmental data since 1989, before the Web began. I started working on it in 1991 as a staffer and have continued through the present day as Grassroots Connection, both working with the data and programming the various interfaces to it. It currently provides access to five major U.S. environmental databases focussed on toxic pollution, hazardous waste, and chemical accidents, allowing users to search and retrieve data as a variety of human-readable reports, as thematic maps, as delimited files, and as XML through an API.
- Fedspending, a project of the Center for Effective Government. Fedspending was created to present detailed data on all U.S. Federal contracts, grants, direct payments, and loans. When the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 passed, it required that the U.S. government set up a site to do this. The design and software created by Grassroots Connection for the Center for Effective Government (then OMB Watch) was purchased and used as version 1.0 of usaspending.gov. Fedspending continued after the code was released, later adding data from the Recovery Act.
Past projects include:
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