Intervenor: vol. 26, no. 1, January - March 2001

PollutionWatch Website Generates close to 3 Million Hits in the First 48 Hrs.

On April 10, 2001, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, along with its partners, the Canadian Environmental Defence Fund and the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, launched PollutionWatch, a unique Internet-based service that allows Canadians to find out about local toxic pollution by simply typing in a postal code. In the first 48 hours, PollutionWatch received close to 3 million hits, including links established from CBC Newsworld and the Globe and Mail.

Modelled on the U.S. Scorecard, a website designed by Environmental Defence in Washington D.C. and Locus Pocus in California, PollutionWatch uses pollution data compiled through Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory, a federal registry that tracks the release of 268 pollutants from about 2,000 facilities across Canada. Visitors to the site can identify the facilities that are releasing chemical pollution, the types of chemicals that are being released, and how a community's pollution ranks compared to other communities in Canada. PollutionWatch also provides profiles of chemical, describes their potential health effects, and explains the laws and regulations that govern toxic pollution in Canada.

With support from the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, the Laidlaw Foundation in Toronto, and the North American Fund for Environmental Cooperation, the project partners are providing the public with a new tool to improve their understanding on environmental pollution and enhance their right to know. Visit PollutionWatch at

Fé de Leon is a researcher at CELA