The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reinvented its permit application process by building its own extensible electronic platform (e-permitting). This modernization effort streamlined the application, review, and approval processes. It improved service to both internal and external stakeholders through efficiencies, enhancements, and business process reengineering.
The pilot was sponsored by and designed for the Bureau of Mining Programs (BMP) and built by DEP’s Bureau of Information Technology (BIT). BMP and BIT worked hand-in-glove to create the new online application. The new process saves time, effort, and paper for both the applicants – mine operators – and reviewers. The mere act of moving from analogue to digital also produced a leaner application, reducing the number of modules from 27 to 21. The e-permit – now submitted through a secure web portal rather than the U.S. mail – also includes a tracking system, automated notifications, electronic payments, and a completeness review. The platform was released to production and went live for use in February 2017.
And because the platform is extensible, other agency permits can now be more easily converted to electronic as well. Current conversion plans include the expansion for use by the Office of Oil and Gas Management, and the Bureaus of Air Quality, Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields, Clean Water, and Radiation Protection.
The development and introduction of e-permitting at DEP is just one part of a larger effort to transform and modernize agency operations and processes.
Results to Date:
E-permitting provides significant productivity savings by eliminating;
- Paper applications;
- The need to hand-enter data into the department’s enterprise database;
- Payments by paper check; and
- Data retrieval from cumbersome paper-based files.
Executive Assistant for Administration and Management
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection