Last week, the Massachusetts Governor’s Office announced the launch of its online data information and public access system, called the Energy and Environmental Information and Public Access System (EIPAS). The first phase of EIPAS establishes online permitting for 30 permits, which covers virtually all Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) air quality, hazardous waste, solid waste, Toxic Use Reduction, water supply, special use, and pesticides permits and will allow users to find environmental and energy information online in real time. EIPAS provides online permitting services for three Massachusetts agencies: MassDEP; Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Pesticide Applicator Licenses; and Department of Conservation and Recreation Special Use Permits (coming soon for the 2018 season).
In addition, through EIPAS, there are two public-facing online portals. The Public Comment Portal allows citizens to access information about permit applications and final decisions, as well as to submit and view public comments pertaining to permit applications. Meanwhile, the Information Data Portal’s initial release includes 20 years of MassDEP’s permit, inspection, facility and enforcement data, providing both data query and analytical dashboard capabilities.
“The online data portal is a groundbreaking initiative that provides a way to search MassDEP permitting, facility, inspection and enforcement data all at once,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The portal allows traditional search capabilities and enables the user to link a specific permit back to a regulated facility and then to inspections or enforcement actions associated with that facility.”
EIPAS is part of a larger online permitting initiative, “ePLACE,” Permitting, Licensing, Authorizations, Certifications and Eligibility. Regulatory business process such as permitting, compliance and enforcement tracking, and online reporting will be available through EIPAS once fully implemented.