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Guide to key environmental statistics in the U.S. government

A simple guide to the key environmental statistics compiled and distributed by the U.S. government on a regular basis.

Executive Summary

For many years the U.S. government has been collecting, analyzing, and reporting environmental statistics. Many of the key data series have become essential tools in studying environmental problems, tracking change, and developing strategies for action. But often the data have been difficult to locate.

Analysts in an out of government have complained for years to the Council on Environmental Quality and to the Environmental Protection Agency about the lack of information about environental statistics. Econoists and demographers know where to find econoic and population statistics, but environmental analysts have had to rely on the Rolodex and luck to find the information they needed. At a time when management of natural resources and protection of environmental quality is high on the national agenda, access to key statistical data is essential.

We saw the need for a simple guide to the key environmental statistics compiled and distributed by the U.S. government on a regular basis, a guide that would cover all sources of key environmental statistics not just those collected by the Environmental Protection Agency, that would help analysts locate both the statistics and the experts who know about the data, that would be computerized for rapid searching, and that would be easy to use and update.

This is the first edition of such a guide. It provides essential information on the programs of the U.S. government that develop and distribute key policy-relevant environmental statistics. The body of the Guide is made up of records organized by department and agency. Each record contains information on a separate statistical program, statistical coverage, data collection methods and frequency, geographic coverage, contacts, recent publications, and availability of databases. The Guide also contains an index of approximately 400 key words and phrases that can be used to locate desired records and an index of databases identified in the records.

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