The Department of Environmental Protection Friday announced another GO-TIME success with the launch of an iPad app for electronic field inspections at oil and gas production sites.
The app, developed in partnership with the Department of Transportation, enables DEP staff to conduct electronic inspections of all surface activities at oil and gas sites, including erosion and sedimentation, waterways encroachment, waste management, and spill cleanup. Until now, inspections have been performed with clipboards and paper forms.
“DEP staff bring great knowledge and dedication to serving the citizens and protecting the environment of Pennsylvania,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Much-needed technology upgrades, such as electronic inspections, will ensure we have systems in place to match our ambitions as we work to respond agilely to business needs and deliver the highest level of service and transparency to citizens, community organizations, and local governments.”
The app will make the inspection process more accurate and efficient, thanks to improved data quality, easier photo documentation, elimination of duplicate entry, electronic supervisor approval and other features. The number of oil and gas field inspections that DEP staff can perform yearly will also increase.
Electronic inspections also mean citizens can see surface inspection results sooner, since results enter the DEP database and are posted on the Oil and Gas mapping website within days, rather than weeks.
All 46 oil and gas surface activities inspection staff will be using the app by the end of February.
DEP is also developing a similar app for its 32 oil and gas subsurface activities inspectors.
The app will be configured for other DEP programs, with the goal of equipping 350 inspectors by 2020, allowing the department to realize an estimated $3.6 million in productivity savings once implemented.
Electronic inspection supports the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services.