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Exchange Network

How the Exchange Network works:

Network Overview

The Environmental Information Exchange Network (or Exchange Network) is an Internet-based system used to exchange environmental and health data among EPA, states, tribes and territories, and other partners.

The Exchange Network allows EPA and its partners to communicate with each other across the Internet. Partners can send and receive environmental data using Nodes. EPA’s Node on the Exchange Network is called the Central Data Exchange.

Upon agreement, partners enter their data into Data Exchange Templates to ensure data is standardized. Schemas help define how data should be entered so that information is presented clearly and consistently from all partners. The end result is improved data quality, better integration across different sources, programs and databases, and increased availability of data.


Computers that allow EPA and its partners (e.g. states, tribes, territories) to communicate using the Internet. Nodes are connection points that enable EPA and its partners to send and receive data. These Nodes can transmit and receive information from one organization to another without human intervention. Nodes can also respond automatically to requests for data from other partners.

Data Exchange
Template (DET)

Data exchange templates list a schema’s data elements with their definition and validation rules. They also give examples of data content. A DET is a more human readable version of the XML schema. They help implementers map their data to the schema. This model DET will help schema developers create DETs and schema for new data exchanges.

XML Schema

XML schemas are the software framework defining the data elements and rules in a data exchange. They define the structure, content and semantics of XML documents, which facilitate Node-to-Node exchanges of data among Network partners. Click here for more information on XML schemas and how to develop them to meet Exchange Network standards and guidelines.

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