The State of Wyoming’s Inventory, Monitoring, Permitting, And Compliance Tracking system, called IMPACT, has significantly facilitated the submission, tracking, analysis, review, and issuance of air quality permits and reports for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division (WDEQ-AQD). Prior to 2014, air permit applications, compliance reports, stack test reports, continuous emission monitoring reports, and emissions inventories were submitted to the WDEQ-AQD on paper. Receiving paper copies via the mail created numerous inefficiencies, including: delays receiving reports and applications from industry; inadequate or incomplete information; and staff transcribing information provided on paper to electronic databases. These inefficiencies caused delays in permit issuance and report review timelines.
To address these issues and inefficiencies, the WDEQ-AQD pursued development of an enterprise air data system that that would dynamically improve the submission, tracking, analysis, review, and issuance of air quality permits and reports for WDEQ-AQD staff, as well as members of industry. Starting in 2013, the WDEQ-AQD began the process of requirement gathering and development of the IMPACT system. Although development of IMPACT continues today, the initial version of IMPACT went live in September 2014 with permitting, emissions inventory reporting, compliance reporting, stack test reporting, and workflow modules. This version also allowed industry users to submit permit applications, compliance reports, and stack test reports to the WDEQ-AQD electronically. With the introduction of IMPACT, the WDEQ-AQD received permit applications and reports instantaneously, allowing WDEQ-AQD staff to begin working immediately. Built-in data validations prevented users from submitting incomplete applications and reports, and system-generated workflow tasks made tracking permits and waivers more efficient. With electronic permit applications and reports submitted by industry, WDEQ-AQD staff could focus on reviewing and analyzing permit applications and reports, instead of data entry. As development continued, several other IMPACT core features were introduced, including ambient monitor reporting, continuous emission monitoring reporting, permit billing, enforcement action, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) tracking modules. Like the modules developed previously, these also included workflow tracking (where necessary) and increased efficiency by reducing data entry time, receiving required information via built-in validations at submission, and enhanced data tracking.
Results to Date:
Since IMPACT came online, adoption by WDEQ-AQD staff and industry has been profound and its successes are numerous. There are currently 92 State of Wyoming employees and 446 industry members representing 184 companies who utilize the system. Title V facility usage of IMPACT has been outstanding, with 88% of Title V facilities having obtained secure access to IMPACT to submit permit applications and reports. Since September 2014, there have been 20,642 total electronic submissions by industry, including: 6,616 facility contact changes; 5,439 facility inventory changes; 4,324 compliance reports; 1,846 stack test reports; 349 ambient monitor reports; and 344 Title V emissions inventories. In regards to permitting, 1,653 New Source Review applications and 71 Title V permit applications have been submitted electronically through IMPACT.
In addition, IMPACT has streamlined the permitting process for WDEQ-AQD staff and industry, while also increasing the efficiency with which permits are processed. As of July 2017, the WDEQ-AQD has issued more than 3,107 NSR permits and waivers through IMPACT, including both paper and electronically submitted applications. Since IMPACT went live in September 2014, the average time from application receipt date to NSR permit issuance decreased by 43 days when submitted electronically compared to paper. Average time from application receipt date to NSR waiver issuance decreased by 15 days when submitted electronically compared to paper during the same period.
The WDEQ-AQD has achieved great success with the IMPACT system since it went live less than three years ago. Each year more industry users sign up and begin using the system to submit permit applications and reports. With more users, the WDEQ-AQD anticipates efficiencies will only continue to grow.