Open data plan

This plan was adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology following the Open Data Policy established by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).


This plan is adopted by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) pursuant to the Open Data Policy 187 established by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).
This plan is in alignment with the agency’s strategic plans. 


Ecology commits to the following five general priorities with specific actions and measures: 

1. Incorporate public access when acquiring, redesigning, or rebuilding information systems. 

  • Ecology will include an open data strategy in proposal(s) submitted for review by the OCIO, as appropriate. Further, Ecology will include open data components in any decision package submitted for internal review by the Ecology Strategic Architecture Team.
  • Ecology will maintain an inventory of its principal databases. Publically accessible databases and applications will be listed on the Ecology databases page. The databases page will also include links to GIS data and datasets shared on 

Measure: Monthly page views and report annually. 


2. Coordinate technology planning across agency boundaries to facilitate electronic access to state data. 

  • Ecology will continue to update and improve access to environmental information across the various programs and business areas of the agency. We will continue to increase data provided to federal, state, tribal, and local partners from cross-program business areas using the Environmental Information Exchange Network,,, and other open data portals and technologies. 

Measure: Monthly page views, online database searches, and submissions and requests from the Environmental Information Exchange Network and report annually. 

  • Ecology will appoint an executive responsible for overseeing and reporting on our agency’s open data efforts. 
  • Ecology will dedicate space on our website to showcase significant open data projects, including but not limited to: 
    • Significant open data releases
    • Special purpose web-pages that use data to tell Ecology’s story
    • Mobile applications
    • Data visualizations and analysis performed by Ecology staff
    • Data analysis performed by Ecology staff

Measure: Number of visitors that click on our open data showcase projects.


3. Develop processes to determine which information the public most wants and needs.

  • Ecology’s web team will track the number of views of the agency’s primary data portal page and significant data pathway pages, and share this with appropriate data agency stewards, including but not limited to: 
    • EIM homepage
    • Facility/Site Database homepage
    • Water Quality Permit Data homepage
    • GIS homepage

Measure: Monthly page views and clicks on the databases portal page and provide results and report annually.

4. Develop and employ methods to readily protect non-disclosable data.

  • Ecology will require that all staff receive training on Records and Information Management (RIM) and Public Records Disclosure. This training must be renewed every three years.

Measure: Number of staff completing this training each year 

5. Develop and employ technical mechanisms for posting open data.

  • Ecology will continue improving automated data publication. Ecology will also streamline manual data publication processes, where possible.


Approved: Polly Zehm, Deputy Director (10/1/2017)

Resource Contact: Cristie Fredrickson

Effective Date: October 1, 2017