Every citizen wants to live in a clean environment. While environmental laws are put in place to reduce pollution, the application and reporting processes involved in environmental regulation may become burdensome for businesses that lack dedicated staff to handle them. In addition, the 28,000 manual permit transactions once performed each year by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) taxed agency resources with inefficient and outdated processes used to administer permits and track compliance. All of this was not just wasteful, but it delayed permitting and compliance response—ultimately working against ADEQ’s own mission to protect and enhance public health and the environment of Arizona.
In 2013, ADEQ set out to deliver “government at the speed of business,” even though the task seemed daunting. Lean development principles and intuitive technology have provided many opportunities to improve processes on both sides of the regulatory world.
A responsive, integrated online system called myDEQ now provides the regulated community in Arizona a seamless digital permitting and compliance reporting experience. Online applications help simplify complex rule interpretations and allow users to easily navigate processes, significantly reducing the burden of environmental compliance. Help options on each page allows users to quickly find answers or connect with the right staff. To date, ADEQ has enabled 34 percent of its services online, with a goal of enabling 80 percent by 2022.
Arizona businesses and ADEQ together have seen:
- 95 percent shorter permit application processing times
- 60 percent higher compliance rates
- 100 percent adoption for some services
- A reallocation of agency resources to assist businesses in compliance efforts
And, ADEQ has heard great things from its regulated customers:
“…This new reporting option will be a substantial time-saver for my compliance team. The nearly instantaneous confirmation and subsequent follow-up results reports are also a huge plus….”
“…MyDEQ is so much better than the previous way of compiling and submitting the reports. It is much clearer what is due each quarter, easier to get the necessary review and approval from the facility supervisors and managers, and faster to check and verify the data…”