Ash Tracker is a web based application that that helps the public obtain detailed information on groundwater contamination near areas used to dispose of ash, scrubber sludge or other wastes from coal burning power plants. Working with Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), our team opened data consisting of 177,684 groundwater monitoring readings for 80 facilities across the nation. Of these measurements 17,662 (10%) exceeded federal safe drinking water standards, and 1,806 (70%) of facility monitored groundwater wells exceeded federal safe drinking water standards.

AshTracker’s data management system goes beyond simply feeding a public web visualization. Instead we’ve designed and built the software in a way that enables Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) analysts to take raw groundwater readings from the state, upload them to the cloud, and have them instantly analyzed for heavy metal exceedances. This can be done for thousands of readings across hundreds of wells at a given facility saving EIP time and money by automating compliance sweep efforts. By bringing these data online faster, agencies can take action and make informed decisions when spills, leaks, and failures occur. Further, media outlets can view comprehensive exceedance histories for a given coal ash site. With appropriately formatted data, EIP is leveraging the system to bring actionable facility information online in a matter of hours compared to weeks.

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