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Environmental Monitoring and Awareness Program (E-Map)

E-Map is a grant project funded by the EPA Empact Program. E-map is a cooperative project between the Cheyenne/Laramie County Development Office, Laramie County Information Technology and Cheyenne/Laramie County Environmental Health.

The principal investigator for the grant was Dr. Larry Meuli, City/County Health Officer.

Co-Investigators include:

  • Rick Fortney, Director, Laramie County ITD
  • C. Elizabeth McCall, Cheyenne/Laramie County GIS Coordinator
  • Dorothy Wilson, Director, Cheyenne/Laramie County Development Office
  • Gus Lopez, Director, Cheyenne/Laramie County Environmental Health
  • Roy Kroeger, Environmental Health Specialist II, Cheyenne/Laramie County Environmental Health

The project time frame was Nov. 1, 1999 through October 31, 2001. The budget for the project was $236,000 of which the EPA funded $199,650. The objectives of this grant was to reduce misinformation on water quality, educate the public on how to find water quality information, well and septic data and public water and sewer systems data.

The grant was also designed to teach the public to check well and septic conditions in their neighborhoods, activate public efforts for obtaining public water and sewer systems for the urban density area. E-Map is supposed to build on the local 201 Study Area project which promotes the use of city sewer in the urban density area.

The approach to the objectives were to automate the water quality and testing program and small wastewater systems permits into an electronic form to disseminate information via the internet, provide a speaker series that allowed the public to come in and listen and ask questions of experts in the water quality field and to set up a protocol to alert the public of emergency health situations related to water in Laramie County.

Once the information is available to the public it is hoped that they will use it in their day-to-day decision making processes related to health and the environment. Early detection of drinking water and well contaminates such as nitrates, sulfates and total dissolved solids and projected problem areas for wells and septic systems should lead to a more proactive mitigation approach such as development of more public utility systems, or innovative technology improvements.

Added benefits of this grant have been the cooperation between agencies to achieve the desired goal, the communications infrastructure built between Cheyenne, Laramie County, Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities and the City/County Health Department and most importantly the Interactive Web Maps that allow for the addition of information from almost any entity.

The public can now get information on the internet about wells, septic systems, radon in well water, public water and sewer lines, storm water sewers, zoning, fire districts, property evaluation and ownership, along with many proposed data sets in the future.

E-Map for Healthy Water

The $236,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grant is a first for the city of Cheyenne and Laramie County. Thanks to Dorothy Wilson, director of the Cheyenne/Laramie County Development Office, for her administration of the E-Map Grant.

The organizations involved are the City of Cheyenne, Laramie County, Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, the Cheyenne/Laramie County Cooperative GIS Program, and the Department of Environmental Quality. Environmental Health's responsibility is to integrate the hard copy information (septics and home loans) and to compile it into a digital format for a geographic information system (GIS) database.

Digital information on wells, septics, soils, well depths, lots, subdivisions, etc., are the key components which can account for as much as 70% of the time and resources. The Division began the daunting task of compiling historical data for 10,000 records from septic permits and home loans over the past 20 years, into a digital format. This information will be disseminated via the internet, where with a few button selections, anyone can access well water information, septic system related information, zoning, land use, flood plains, streets, annexations, and even potential radon.

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