The Environmental Protection Agency officially launched its first mobile phone app on Tuesday.
The app is designed to help state and local environmental regulators form “environmental justice” policies designed to engage low-income communities on environmental issues, such as lead in drinking water and access to solar panels.
It was launched amid ongoing calls by Democrats and a growing number of Republicans for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign over reports of his lavish travel and security spending, as well as big pay raises for aides and ties to an energy lobbyist at a condo he rented on Capitol Hill.
The mobile app is based on the “tremendously popular” EJSCREEN environmental justice software that the agency designed for internal use six years ago.
“The enhanced mobile version of EJSCREEN provides most of the same key functions and features as the full online version, but offers them in a more compact and accessible layout,” the agency said.
“EJSCREEN continues to be a tremendously popular tool, consistently ranking as one of EPA’s most used tools available through the agency website.”
The software has become a staple for state, local, and tribal governments, as well as other federal agencies. But the EPA’s most recent user surveys showed it was not as accessible in its prior form, which was restricted to use on laptops and desktops.
“Since releasing EJSCREEN to the public in 2015, users reported it could be more user-friendly with mobile devices,” the EPA said.
The agency found that more than half of EJSCREEN users were accessing it on their mobile devices, anyway. So, it developed the mobile version, the agency said.