Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Energy (DOE) facilities and supporting industries needed fast, easy access to integrated network information on available substitutes to meet the impending phase-outs of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and the reduction of toxics required under the Clean Air Act and Executive Order 12856.

This project created a Federal pollution prevention (P2) network by integrating technical information from other Federal agencies.

Technical Approach

The project completed the following: a) modified the search engine to access all component databases; b) completed database conversions for Phase 1 and 2 data bases; c) sequentially added Phase 1 and 2 databases to ES multiple query; d) developed decision trees for queries at process specific levels; e) developed an expert architecture for seamless access to the umbrella databases with weighted query synthesis; f) integrated decision trees into the expert architecture; g) reviewed other DoD/Federal/private databases; h) conducted global searches for umbrella expansion; and i) deployed system to DoD, other Federal agencies, and industry.


The Enviro$en$e network has been created as a distributed system to relay pertinent technical P2 information to all Federal agencies and, specifically, to house an expert architecture known as the Solvent Umbrella. The Solvent Umbrella utilizes state-of-the-art electronic navigation, translation, and search tools in the Internet environment.

The Umbrella allows users to access alternative solvent information through a single, easy-to-use command structure that seamlessly accesses and retrieves information from its component databases. The Umbrella's command structure taps into databases resident on Enviro$en$e as well as remote databases linked through the Internet. The solvent Umbrella employs an architecture using decision tree programming, Internet navigation tools, TOPIC search and retrieval, and transnational programming based in part on that developed through DoD's Omniport project. The Umbrella’s search engine allows user queries to be ranked through a decision tree structure and generates weighted search results based on the user's process-specific needs.

Samples of the databases incorporated in the Umbrella include the following:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Solvent Alternatives Guide (SAGE);
  •  Idaho National Engineering Laboratory's (INEL) Hazardous Solvent Substitution Data System (HSSDS);
  •  INEL's Solvent Handbook Data System (SHDS);
  • The Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center's (NFESC) P2 Library ODS and Solvent Alternatives databases; and
  • EPA's Enviro$en$e integrated vendor database.

Users can tap into applicable Mil-Specs, Technical Orders, National Stock Numbers, and Material Safety Data Sheets, as available. The level of information synthesis performed by the Umbrella reduces the amount of research and testing required by a user but it will not eliminate actual evaluation by the user before implementing a substitute.


Enviro$en$e information may be used to implement P2 and solvent substitution programs, ensure compliance with environmental laws and regulations, solve enforcement cases, and facilitate research project development.