Major searches done by Rich Puchalsky

I've done hundreds of searches for people over the years, including database dumps, simple facility data retrievals, and more complex searches, such as studies of particular chemicals and their effects. Here is a sample of the more interesting or complex cases that were not later published as a report, and for which the customer does not require confidentiality.

Search Customer Description
Preparing data for EPA's TRI Public Data Release U.S. EPA As part of my work for Hampshire Research, I helped to prepare the data tables used in EPA's TRI Public Data Release. In particular, I wrote a program to estimate "double counting" transfers; transfers of waste sent from one TRI facility to another, that might be double counted as offsite releases (transfers to disposal) by the sending facility and onsite releases by the receiving facility.
Adding up pollution by parent company Innovest Pollution, waste, and site data from four different environmental databases were added up by parent company in order to analyze corporate performance on environmental issues. This project involved extensive use of corporate ownership data, because it can be surprisingly difficult to quickly figure out which company owns which polluting facility.
Worst case mapping of potential chemical accidents Greenpeace Worst case radii for chemical accidents were taken from the RMP database. Then LANDVIEW was used to make maps of facilities in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley", Baltimore, and Philadelphia, showing which areas might be affected. LANDVIEW's population estimator was used to find the number of people living in each worst case accident area.
Comparison of databases to find non-filers in Missouri Atlantic States Legal Foundation Six different environmental databases were compared in an attempt to find non-filers -- facilities that should report under various environmental laws but do not. A critical U.S. Supreme Court case removed ASLF's ability to pursue cases against non-filers before these data were used.
Form A TRI analysis National Environmental Trust The TRI database was analyzed to show that raising TRI's Form A threshold -- which was then proposed to be the quantity of releases below which a facility would not have to report -- would put the threshold high enough so that significant quantities of releases and waste would not be reported. This search was re-done for later attempts to change the Form A threshold, and turned into a policy document.
Comparison of electricity generation, CO2 releases, and boiler age data National Environmental Trust Department of Energy and EPA databases were compared to find efficiencies, in terms of CO2 released per unit of energy generated, for power plants across the U.S. The age of the oldest power generation unit in each plant was also used to show that significant improvements in efficiency, and therefore reductions in the CO2 releases that contribute to global climate change, could be gained by replacing old equipment. This analysis was used for various documents and press releases.
Search for toxic waste in fertilizer National Environmental Trust TRI was searched for reports of toxic waste transfers to fertilizer factories and to "landfarming". The results were sent to another environmental group that prepared a report on this issue.
Pesticide residues in Thanksgiving food National Environmental Trust The Total Diet Study and a database of EPA tolerances were used to summarize results of pesticide testing in prepared holiday foods. These results were used for various papers and press releases.
Source reduction quantity and data quality analysis National Environmental Trust TRI data were used to estimate quantities of waste prevented from being generated through source reduction. Data records were flagged if they contained obvious data quality problems that would invalidate this kind of analysis. This analysis is as yet unpublished.
Superfund/public housing comparison search Unison Institute This search used lat/long co-ordinates to find distances between all Superfund and public housing sites, labelling pairs that were within a mile of each other. The results were published for some time on RTK NET's Web page.
TRI state factsheets National Environmental Trust I wrote a program to automatically produce TRI state factsheet tables that could be merged into Microsoft Word documents. The state factsheets included release, transfer, waste, source reduction, and other data and were augmented by hand with chemical health effect data. The results were released on a state-by-state basis by local environmentalists.

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