Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
For Immediate Release
February 22, 2011
BETHESDA, MD—If you’ve ever wondered how close your home or office is to a chemical facility and if the toxins it is releasing might impact your health, answers can be as close as your smartphone. A pioneering mobile application known as My Right-to-Know (MyRTK), designed and developed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Abt Associates, can enable you to easily access this information. All you need is a Web-enabled mobile device.
The MyRTK application, engineered by the Bethesda firm, a global leader in health, environmental and social policy research and program implementation, launches with a map or list of facilities in close proximity to the mobile device, or near an address identified by the user. An easy-to-comprehend, graphically rich interface is used to simplify fairly complex information, including the facilities' locations, relative size, chemical releases and their possible health effects, and a record of compliance with U.S. environmental laws. The Google-serviced maps are complemented with street and satellite views. The application includes suggestions of what mobile users might do next, such as report a potential violation from their device using a link to EPA's enforcement office. MyRTK can be viewed at http://myrtk.epa.gov/info/.
"MyRTK will be a very useful resource for consumers, realtors, state and EPA inspectors, environmental advocacy groups, teachers, and many others interested in their environment," said Andrew Stoeckle who managed the evolution of the application.
Stoeckle who is vice president, principal associate and scientist at Abt Associates, said "People who are inquisitive about what chemicals might be present in areas where they live and work can now pull out their smartphones and access this data on the spot."
"The design, quality of content, functionality, and usability of the mobile application demonstrates how federal agencies are working to improve their communications with individual citizens," Stoeckle added.
MyRTK can run on a range of browsers, but the navigation, content, and functionality are optimized for information dissemination through mobile devices. In addition, the platform allows for other facility and place-based information to be added in the future.
The myRTK application displays:
About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of environmental and social policy, health, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates was ranked as one of the top 25 global research firms in 2010. The employee-owned company has seven offices in the U.S. and program offices in nearly 40 countries. www.abtassociates.com.
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.