Those carrying iPhones and iPads can now use an Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) mobile application (app) that allows users anywhere in the state to report environmental hazards and provide feedback directly from some smart phones. A similar app was introduced for Android users in November 2014. This will allow ADEQ to expand the number of users who will be able to access the app. Mobile tools not only help the public, but they help inspectors enormously by being able to see what citizens are seeing before they even arrive at a site.
The mobile app is available in the Apple App Store while Android users can find the app in the Google Play Store. Simply search for ADEQ and tap “Get” when the app, which features ADEQ’s seal, comes up. The apps allow Arkansans to provide information and report environmental hazards in real time. To file a complaint, you may provide a Complaint Type (Air, Hazardous Waste, Water, unknown, etc.), along with description of the potential violation. Users also need to provide the county and the location or driving directions. Users will also be able to add photos of the potential hazard. Photos taken within the ADEQ app will be geotagged with GPS coordinates if GPS location services are enabled on the device. Contact information may be provided, but it is not required. Users will be able to review all complaint information prior to submission. Those in areas without cell service can save a complaint and submit it when they regain cell service.
The photos and GPS coordinates will help inspectors better pinpoint the location of a specific complaint. Inspectors investigate all complaints, but sometimes conditions can change very rapidly. Having photos shows ADEQ inspectors exactly why a given complaint was filed and what the person filing it was seeing. A picture really is worth 1,000 words.
Enhancement to add access to key information and other function to the app is currently underway to assist the regulated community and general public.