By Harold Sandbeck
Ever wonder if there are any hazardous waste sites near your home? Questions about where air monitors are located? Debating about whether you should eat that cutthroat trout you just caught in your favorite fishing hole because you’re not sure if it contains high levels of mercury? Maybe you have a question about a chemical spill near your office. Where can you go to find this information easily and quickly?
Beginning April 14, 2015, the new DEQ interactive map will be available to answer all those questions and more. The new map, over a year in the making, is designed to be user-friendly and comprehensive, offering location-based information for everything from permits to Superfund sites. You can access it from your desktop computer or mobile device down to tablet size, making it a convenient application when you’re on-the-go.
Not sure how to get started? We have training videos that will guide you every step of the way. But let’s take a quick tour right now so you can see all that the map has to offer.
When you open the map, you will see five map controls at the top left of your screen. Use the “Plus” sign to zoom in and the “Minus” sign to zoom out. The next button reveals the map-reference layers, where you can search by land ownership, hydrologic units, even township and range. You can also choose the look of your base map: topographic, streets, terrain, or a “lite” map that is clean and easy to read. Next is the measure tool. You can select a polygon option that lets you hone in on a particular area, a line option that lets you measure distance, or a point option for a specific location. You can even change measurement units, say from miles to acres, even longitude and latitude. The last button lets you save your search results as a printable PDF document.
Map Search Options
On the top right-hand side of the map screen, you will find two search options. If you click on “Select Query Layers,” you will be taken to a dropdown menu that includes the division program layers. If you used the old map, you will notice that the new map contains more divisions and more query layers for each division. Each program layer has a question mark next to it that describes the program. You can hover over the question mark for a summary, or click on it to go directly to the program description on the DEQ website.
Next you will need to input your search criteria. You can search by address, city, statewide, or county. You can even use the shape option to draw a shape, a line, or a buffer distance around your area of interest. Once you put in your query layers and search criteria and hit “Search,” you will be taken to a map that shows your results.
Once you have your map with your search results, you can dig a little deeper. If you selected underground storage tank releases in Sandy City, for example, you would see the tank releases in that search area. Below the map, you’ll find a grid with the search results. Click on “Underground Storage Tanks” to see the details of the releases. You can select a particular release by clicking on the box next to it. There you will find the site attributes. Under “Attributes,” you can select “Related Documents” to view all the documents for the release. The “Links” selection allows you to access scanned site documents, fill out a GRAMA request, or access any additional information.
You can download and export your results by selecting your format and clicking “Process Download.” If you want to conduct another search, simply click “Clear Search” and begin again.
More Information, Improved Access
For several years, DEQ’s Interactive Map has helped meet the needs of the public for environmental information, and we are excited to offer even more map features and functionalities. We will continue to add more documents and update the map as we get new data or if circumstances change. DEQ is dedicated to providing the public with information in an easy-to-use format, and we are happy to offer this new map to provide the public with improved access to our documents.
We hope that beginning April 14, 2015, you will try out our new Interactive Map! Feel free to contact us at (801) 536-4400 if you have any comments or feedback about the map. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the map, you can fill out a GRAMA request, either through the map or from our website.
I graduated from the University of Utah in 1986 with a BS in Geophysics. I started working at DEQ in 1990. I was hired as a scientist in the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) CERCLA (Superfund) program, but quickly became the in-house guru for GIS software and products (including the DEQ Interactive Map), eDocs Documentum, and EZ Search. I provide support and assistance with multiple DERR databases. On my days off, I try to get outdoors as much as possible, and since my son got a job at the University of Utah Athletics Department I am a diehard Ute fan, go UTES!!