Since January 2015, the Department of Environmental Protection has embarked on a wide-ranging, Secretary-prioritized, internal modernization effort that will include improved business processes, a transition to new geolocation-based mobile solutions, paperless workflows, archive digitization, internal data-driven analytical research efforts, and greater data transparency.
The next milestone of this effort will be the introduction of an electronic permitting application, as well as the implementation of a mobile inspection application.
These two initiatives, lead by DEP CIO Sean Crager, will be operating by February 15, 2017, and their use will be expanded to other program areas following the initial rollout.
The pilot focus for electronic permitting will be the mining deputate and the Bituminous Surface Mine Permit Application.
DEP has identified over $500,000 in Title V federal matching funds to build out the agency’s first, full-service electronic permitting system.
The goal will be to use this code for all of the agency’s 700+ authorizations.
DEP is currently developing this system in-house, and expects this system to increase productivity while saving money and providing better service for the regulated community.
By rolling out mobile inspections, DEP will end a double entry system where inspections are conducted with carbonless paper and then keyed into the central database later by the same inspector.
DEP believes this investment will double an inspector’s productivity that is expected to save $6.5 million over five years.
DEP is currently partnering with PennDOT’s Mobile Application Team to build the app and leverage their backend infrastructure to support that capability.
DEP will begin with an oil and gas inspection process as a pilot, with a goal of configuring the app for additional inspections in the near future.
Up to 350 inspectors will be equipped with this technology by early 2018.(Reprinted from the May 12 DEP News. Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)