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Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators Project


  • Emissions data needed to be streamlined to make it more actionable.
  • RSEI tracks and condenses data on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities.
  • RSEI-based products make it easier to address the social impacts of emissions.
The Challenge

To streamline emissions data, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) is a modelling tool that helps policy makers, researchers, and communities explore data on releases of toxic substances from industrial facilities.

Abt Global originally developed the RSEI model in the early 1990s and has supported annual updates. Abt also has been responsible for continuous methodological improvements to, application of, and outreach for RSEI.

The Approach

Risk Screening Environmental IndicatorsRSEI captures information from EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which tracks certain toxic chemical releases and waste management activities at federal facilities and larger industrial facilities across the United States. RSEI brings together large amounts of complex information and provides simplified results, which are used to establish priorities for further investigation and to look at changes in potential impacts over time. Users can work more efficiently by conducting preliminary analyses with RSEI, which uses simplified risk factors to quickly evaluate and organize large amounts of data.

The Results

The RSEI project generates a number of data products, including the Geographic Microdata, a granular data product produced by Abt. Academics use RSEI to investigate environmental justice issues and trends in potential risk. RSEI also provides a uniquely powerful time-series dataset –now in its 30th year–that can be used to analyze how differentials in potential exposure to toxics relate to social and demographic factors. The RSEI bibliography lists studies that use RSEI results.

Abt developed the EasyRSEI dashboard using Qlik Sense® for users to visualize and download RSEI and TRI data. RSEI results are also included in other online tools like CalEnviroScreen and EJSCREEN.

Learn more about RSEI: