Online: Our where to go and why guide

Finding information on the Internet can be daunting. Millions of Web sites that offer untold volumes of news and data are competing for your attention. Even with the best search engines, sifting through this amount of information can be frustrating and time consuming.

To help you save time when you're tracking down environmental information, the cybersleuths at Environmental Protection have collected the premier environmental sites in several important categories, including air, water, waste, law and news, from governmental agencies and professional organizations. Our selection criteria focused on the Web sites' content, ease of use and design. In many of these categories, we've included our top picks, the best related governmental sites and lists of other related sites loaded with valuable information.

If you disagree with our ratings or have a favorite environmental Web site that we've overlooked, let us know. Go to our EP Discussion Forum at and nominate your favorite sites. We welcome your feedback.


cloudsTake a deep breath and relax. Our exhaustive research has cleared away all the smog and revealed the top environmental air sites.

Institute of Clean Air Companies (ICAC)

For busy environmental managers who want information about the most effective types of air pollution control technologies for their facilities, this site makes comparative shopping easy. The directory of suppliers features pull-down menus that allow users to find suppliers based on the type of control technology needed and also lets users find the type of technology needed based on pollutant type. Brief descriptions of control, monitoring and stack testing technologies provided by ICAC members can be found under the control technology information section.

ICAC statistical information consists of reports on the size and nature of current markets for stationary source air pollution control equipment including reports on clean air news and technologies and an in-depth analysis of the pollution control market with historical statistics and an annual forecast for the coming year.

Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA)

You no longer need to fumble with search engines to locate state environmental agencies. One of the best features of the A&WMA site is its easy-to-use "Internet Resources" section that contains a comprehensive directory of state and federal government agencies. This section also has extensive links to environmental organizations and companies. A&WMA focuses primarily on issues related to air quality and waste remediation and its Web site's "Publications" section provides an excellent source of periodicals related to those areas.

For air and waste professionals who want to focus on career development, this site offers a large array of information in its "Professional Development and Career" section. Listings of conferences, workshops and events can help users keep up with new trends in these specialized areas. The section also contains an "Employment Services" section where users can post environmental positions at no charge and browse environmental job openings.

Related government sites
Unified Air Toxics Web site

Office of Air and Radiation

Other favorites
American Lung Association —

Indoor Air Program —

State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators (STAPPA) and Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (ALAPCO) —

Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards —


waterThirsty for information on the latest water regulations and industry advancements? Pore over these top water and wastewater sites and let us know if our selections hold water with you.

Water Environment Federation (WEF)

WEF's site is a powerhouse of information for professionals interested in staying on top of wastewater treatment issues. One of the site's most valuable features is the "Technical Information Center" that offers discussions of topics ranging from biosolids to watershed management. Another good source of information is the "Government Affairs" section that offers timely updates on water related legislation and regulations and WEF's positions on specific policies and proposed rules.

WEF site highlights include an online buyers' guide — searchable by company or product — that allows users access to more than 200 companies supplying water quality products and services. In addition, updates on WEFTEC 2000, WEF's 73rd annual conference and exposition, can be found, along with a list of upcoming WEF conferences focusing on new technologies, information and trends in the water quality industry.

American Water Works Association (AWWA)

This site is one of the best for environmental professionals who want to keep up with developments in the drinking water industry. It provides users with weekly updates on drinking water topics from the Waterweek staff. Another useful feature is the section on governmental affairs that covers pending legislation related to the industry. It also has recent white papers on a wide variety of water topics.

The AWWA site features updates on AWWA events and member activities as well as information on recent water quality publications. Other resources available from the AWWA site include networking opportunities such as public forums and job listings and educational opportunities such as professional development courses and online learning.

Related government site
Office of Water

Other favorites
The Universities Water Information Network —

National Ground Water Association —

Water Quality Association —

U.S. Water News Homepage —

Water Online —


wasteTired of searching through garbage for the newest management practices and environmental regulations on the Web? Stop wasting your time; check out our top selections.

American Chemical Society (ACS)

You don't have to be a chemist to find this site helpful. Facility managers who handle feedstock chemicals or hazardous waste can benefit from ACS's free searchable chemical database Chemcyclopedia. Users and purchasers of chemicals will find that the comprehensive database lists chemical trade names, packing and shipping requirements and Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers, which can be useful for workers with hazardous feedstock chemicals and hazardous waste.

In addition, the site features an extensive library of information from chemical literature, ACS journals, magazines and books, chemistry sites and chemical and equipment suppliers.

The ACS Web site's educational section contains links to Internet, video and continuing education courses as well as links to top educational facilities.

A large networking section contains links to ACS's ChemJobs search engine and Chem Career Connections discussion forum. The section also contains information on how to order the latest ACS salary survey for chemistry professionals.

Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)

SWANA's site prides itself on providing information on waste regulations with updates on cutting-edge technological advances for waste management. One of the site's best features is its "Legislative Advocacy" section, which focuses on pending legislation and proposed policies that impact the solid waste management industry.

The site details SWANA's technical divisions for research and development including collection and transfer, communication, education and marketing, landfill gas management, landfill management, planning and management, special waste management, waste reduction, recycling and composting and waste-to-energy. Another handy feature is the site's online calendar that lists upcoming SWANA events as well as continuing education opportunities for industry professionals.

Related government site
Office of Solid Waste

Other favorites
American Petroleum Institute — Environment, Health, Safety and Step —

Petroleum Equipment Institute —

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board —

Petroleum Marketers Association of America —

Steel Tank Institute —

American Society for Testing and Materials —

EPA's Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office —

U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Special Programs Administration —

Chemical Manufacturers Association —

Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology —


law Contemplating a trip to the courthouse and need a top gun lawyer? Want to check out the latest environmental regs? The verdict is in that our select legal sites will meet your needs.

Find Law

This site is a standard bookmark for users who want free access to a broad variety of legal information. And you don't have to worry about dredging up your high school Latin to navigate the site because it has a user-friendly format for non-lawyers.

Find Law's site offers a large number of resources under its environmental law section, including laws and government documents, related Web sites, government agencies and journals and newsletters. It also has an environmental law message board, an environmental mailing list and national directories of environmental lawyers and expert witnesses. In addition, it contains a legal subject index that's helpful if you need to look up a related topic like safety or intellectual property. Another popular feature on the site is the "Legal News" section that is updated daily and covers the U.S. Supreme Court, important litigation and top legal headlines.

Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute

The folks at Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute have done such a great job setting up this site that they make the legal profession look good (well, almost). Lawyer jokes aside, this free online compendium of assorted laws is a serious tool for anyone interested in tracking down specific legal information. Search engines and ranking systems identify this site as the most-linked-to web resource in the field of law. (see, for example,

By selecting the site's environmental law section, users can find a wealth of sources, including statutes, regulations, judicial decisions and international conventions and treaties. Additionally, it contains links to the Web sites of the main agencies that deal with environmental issues and environmental associations. One of the site's best features is its organized list of links to the major environmental statutes.

Related government sites
Code of Federal Regulations

Congressional Record

Other favorites
Indiana University of School of Law —

American Law Sources Online —

Duke Law School's Environmental Law & Policy Forum — —

Legal News Network —

Just the Lawlinks Newsletter —

Environmental LawNet™ —

'Lectric Law Library —

Earthlaw —

Environmental Law in Europe —


News Feeling too dependent on for all your environmental news? Check out these other great news sites. If you have any other newsworthy selections, let us know in our online Discussion Forum.

Planet Ark

Planet Ark is the home of Reuters Daily World Environmental News. The site features updated news stories concerning environmental topics from countries around the world. Plant Ark also makes available pictures pertaining to the stories, helping to bring the news into focus for the reader. A comprehensive news archive is also available. Past Reuters' news stories can be found through a keyword search engine.

Planet Ark exclusively broadcasts Pulse of the Planet, an Internet-only radio show produced by David White, Australia's foremost environmental journalist. First broadcast in 1998 for World Environment Day, the show takes a look at the state of the Earth's environmental health. Listeners are able to access detailed half-hour interviews between David White and some of the world's leading environmental experts.

Environment News Service

URL: Sponsored by Lycos, the Environment News Service (ENS) offers daily updates on global environmental happenings. In addition to highlighting important events as they occur around the world, ENS provides short summaries concerning top stories from the previous day and the past week.

ENS's E-wire contains news and technology updates from around the globe as submitted by industry professionals. E-wire updates provide industry professionals an opportunity to post their current environmental information directly to the ENS Web site.

The site contains a searchable news archive and monthly index, an environmental discussion board, an events calendar and links to other environment sites.

Other favorites
Environmental Organization WebDirectory —

Environmental Journalism Subject Links —

EnviroLink —

Earthvision —

Environmental News Network —

Environmental News Link — Capitol Reports® —

Discovery Channel —

Greenwire —

Environmental organizations

Environmental organizationsThe environmental field contains a surprisingly diverse range of professional and activist groups. To learn about these associations, you don't need a membership card or a secret handshake. Just a few mouse clicks can bring you all the information you need concerning the leading environmental organizations in the United States.

Air and Waste Management Association —

American Water Works Association —

Water Environment Federation —

American Industrial Hygiene Association —

American Chemical Society —

National Registry of Environmental Professionals —

National Association of Environmental Professionals —

Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors —

Chemical Manufacturers Association —

American Institute of Professional Geologists —

American Society of Civil Engineers —

American Bar Association —

Natural Resources Defense Council —

Environmental Defense Fund —

Sierra Club —

This article appeared in Environmental Protection magazine, July 2000, Vol. 11, No. 7, p. 12.

This article originally appeared in the 07/01/2000 issue of Environmental Protection.

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