Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revolutionized its inspection process by building an electronic inspection (e-inspection) application. DEP’s Bureau of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management (BOGPPM) and Bureau of Information Technology (BIT), and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Office of Information Technology (PennDOT OIT) worked hand-in-hand to design and build the new e-inspection application.
BOGPPM is responsible for administering the laws and regulations governing the development of oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania. As part of their mandate, it conducts onsite inspections of both surface and sub-surface drilling activities. The existing inspection process was entirely paper-based. Inspectors were armed with clipboards and carbonless, triplicate forms. The data were then manually keyed in the agency’s enterprise database. Inspectors found themselves in the office one day for every two days in the field.
With the introduction of the e-inspections, DEP inspectors have ditched the paper and pencils for iPads. The app is designed as a fully mobile tool for collecting and documenting inspection information while onsite, automatically updating and synchronizing data to the enterprise database and producing inspection results instantaneously before leaving the inspection site.
The application was designed as an extensible solution – so other agency inspections can now be more easily converted to e-inspections. The next conversion into the e-inspection application will be the Bureau of District Mining Operations.
The development and introduction of e-inspections at DEP is just one part of a larger effort to transform and modernize agency operations and processes.
Results to Date:
E-inspections provide significant productivity savings:
- Inspectors spend 20% more time in the field;
- Paper inspection forms are eliminated;
- Double entry of inspection data – once in the field/once in the office – is eliminated;
- Inspection results are provided instantly to the customer;
- Data quality is improved; and
- Errors resulting in inspector and manager reviews are reduced.
Executive Assistant for Administration and Management
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection