This week we restored a nationwide data source to the SkyTruth Alerts system, our free email-based pollution and incident notification tool. For over a year, the public interface for the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center (NRC) has been offline, and we have not been able to send out notifications when new pollution reports are reported. The NRC receives approximately 30,000 reports a year, and about 10,000 of those are in the Gulf of Mexico. This outage substantially limited our ability to research pollution incidents and notify the public about oil and hazardous chemical releases, so we are pleased to announce that we can now provide weekly alerts from this important data source.
The Coast Guard has been posting a weekly update of all the reports they receive, in the form of an excel spreadsheet. It has taken us a while to do the necessary data wrangling and re-coding, but we have finally found a way to incorporate this unwieldy file into our Alerts system so we can resume providing you the easy-to-understand email notifications that you’ve been missing.
A couple of details and cautions about how the restored system will work as long as we receive these weekly updates from the NRC:
- Weekly Updates: We will issue Alerts every time the file is updated at www.nrc.uscg.mil, typically on Tuesday or Wednesday for everything that has been received in the preceding week.
- >50 Alerts: Because you will be getting a weeks worth of reports all at once, there is a good chance your weekly update from the NRC may include more than 50 incidents, so we won’t able to show everything in your daily email. There are a few simple solutions to this…
- Break up your subscription into smaller areas. Just unsubscribe from your current subscription and re-subscribe to a several smaller areas.
- When you get your weekly email, just click through to the Alerts map (below) to see everything that has happened in your area of interest.
To sign up for alerts, or to resubscribe to new areas, visit – alerts.skytruth.org/.