Current Air/Water Quality: Deciphering EPA “Data”

This morning EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson tweeted that EPA is monitoring air and water quality and even linked to the “data” EPA is making available:

EPA continues to monitor enviro quality in Gulf. For data: http://budurl.com/bn2l

Now, I’m no scientist, but I am a pretty smart lady, so I set about trying to interpret the “data” Lisa provided us. I enlisted the help of some other intelligent folks as well. After close to 45 minutes we still did not have a clear understanding of what the air or water quality was in any particular area, in relation to what the acceptable limits are for each chemical being tested.  This is not my idea of “transparency in reporting” from the EPA.  So let me take you through what I did learn. Continue reading