What is the iWitness Pollution Map?
This map displays reports of chemical accidents submitted via text message, voicemail, email and the web. Reports of oil spills, flaring, odors and health effects made by eyewitnesses and the media populate points on this interactive, web-based map. The information will be used to provide data about the impacts of industrial pollution in real time as well as document the stories of those who witness it. The map also provides users with a custom feed of all petrochemical releases in the Gulf of Mexico region reported to the National Response Center, a hazardous materials hotline housed under the U.S. Coast Guard.
Why does this map matter?
This map utilizes public testimony to visualize the impact of chemical accidents, the BP Oil Disaster, and other leaks and spills, over time and geography. By using information that comes from community members we will be able to track, document and make public the effects of industrial pollution. This will facilitate transparency, accountability and effectiveness in industry and government response to chemical emergencies.
What happened to the Oil Spill Crisis Map?
It’s still here! All the testimony and reports from the Oil Spill Crisis Map are archived on the new iWitness Pollution Map. Anyone can still submit reports documenting effects of the BP Oil Disaster. Though unprecedented in its scale and impact, we recognize the BP Oil Disaster is part of a larger culture of accidents and spills that occur on a daily basis in the Gulf region. We wanted to create a tool to document ALL types of chemical accidents and the new name — iWitness Pollution Map — reflects this.
Who can use it?
Anyone who sees, smells, hears or feels the impacts of chemical accidents and has access to a telephone or computer can make a report. We are asking residents near industry and anyone else in impacted areas to assist us in providing a public record of what they are experiencing in their air, water, land and wildlife. The more reports submitted the more powerful each individual report becomes.
What types of reports are on the iWitness Pollution Map?
There are three main categories of reports.
Chemical Accident Reports are from concerned citizens, media or other eyewitnesses.
Oil Spill Reports are observations of liquid oil on the water and shoreline, as well as tar balls and tar mats from spills such as the 2010 BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico..
NRC Reports are relayed to the map from the Coast Guard’s National Response Center through a partnership between LABB and SkyTruth. The map displays reports of oil and hazardous chemical releases in the state of Louisiana and the surrounding waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Administered by the U.S. Coast Guard, the NRC receives reports from responsible parties as well as anonymous witnesses/observers.
How can I make a report?
1. Send a text message to (504) 27 27 OIL or (504) 272-7645
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Fill out the online form at map.labucketbrigade.org
How can I find out if accidents are happening near me?
Subscribe to our Get Alerts feature! You can get alerts sent to your e-mail or phone when a report is submitted near you. To sign-up click HERE.
What happens to the information I report?
All reports are made public and available for viewing on the map. Reports will appear after they have been approved. Reporters can choose to remain anonymous or share their contact information with us. LABB correlates citizen reports to the map with industry self reports to the National Response Center, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency and any other air, water or soil sampling information once per week. LABB then shares that analysis with federal and state enforcement officials in hopes of creating meaningful actions to curb pollution and end oil industry accidents in the long term.
Is my report anonymous?
The best way to make an anonymous report is to submit a report online here and do not give any personal contact information.
How can I help?
Make a report! The more reports made, the more useful the information on the map becomes. This system depends on participation from those directly impacted by chemical accidents and industrial pollution. With enough community reports we will be able to provide immediate data on the impact of pollution, facilitate transparency and accountability through eyewitness testimony.
Get the word out! Tell your friends, family members, neighbors and social networks about the iWitness Pollution Map. The more people who know about this tool the better.
Please consider supporting the folks at LABB who spend a considerable amount of time moderating the map and following up on reports – Donate to the Louisiana Bucket Brigade