Despite a number of different resources designed to access environmental data, the challenges to gathering and interpreting data are many. Our class experience of researching brownfields in East St. Louis using these sources provided some insights about the research process. We found, that there exists in much of the East St. Louis area: 1) general lack of historical information regarding the city of East St. Louis, 2) a history of apathetic attitudes toward environmental hygiene by past and current polluters, 3) a specter of illegal dumping, which exposes the residents an array of chemical and biological hazards, and 4) an overall lack of resources to fully investigate potential brownfield sites for remediation and development. These challenges have enormous implications for non-profits and other community-based organizations who key organizations when it comes to redeveloping these sites. Each of these factors present major challenges to the researcher of environmental data, especially in resource-scarce cities.