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In this April 2019 edition of the E-Enterprise Bulletin, E-Enterprise and Exchange Network Management Board member Mary Montoya of New Mexico Environment Department discusses her involvement in E-Enterprise and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way.

What roles do you fill on behalf of the E-Enterprise initiative?

I am currently a member of the E-Enterprise Management Board, a joint governance group comprised of members from states, tribes, and EPA. The management board oversees the E-Enterprise project portfolio by reviewing and tracking E-Enterprise related projects through visual management tools and offering guidance to teams to ensure alignment with E-Enterprise principles.

Previously, I participated as the State Co-Chair for two E-Enterprise projects, the E-Enterprise Architecture Integrated Project Team (IPT) and State Co-Chair for the E-Enterprise Federated Identity Management (EEFIM) Concept of Operations IPT.

In addition, I led a technical feasibility project for the EEFIM component. Under the project, New Mexico collaborated with EPA, Wyoming, and North Dakota in the development of a working prototype that demonstrated agency staff logging in to their local systems and securely accessing other state and EPA systems without the need to enter login credentials another time. Using this capability, we have a new project underway in which we plan to extend the trust network to two additional states. This improves our business feasibility as it creates new environmental workflows among co-regulators, such as monitoring and modeling activities across jurisdictional boundaries.

What have you found to be most rewarding from your involvement in the E-Enterprise initiative?

It is very rewarding to work with so many people representing various environmental state agencies, tribes, and EPA programs. I appreciate the opportunity to work with such smart and dedicated individuals. There are, more than ever before, a host of new technologies and tools that facilitate collaboration, transparency, access, analysis, and decision-making for co-regulators, the regulated community, and the public. It is a great time to be part of the future of environmental management.

In which specific E-Enterprise projects are you currently involved, and how will these improve environmental outcomes?

I currently play a role in several E-Enterprise projects.

As I mentioned, I am involved in the early stages of a grant partnership project called EEFIM: Partner Integration for Business Process Improvement. The project involves investigating the business value of state co-regulator staff (environmental scientists) using the capabilities of the Enterprise Security Bridge to improve environmental business processes among border states. Example processes may include collaborative modeling and monitoring activities, as well as environmental incident response processes.

In addition, my team and I are working with the EPA Shared Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule Services (SCS) Team and the EPA Enterprise Security Bridge team to find ways to provide CROMERR services to partner systems connected into the EEFIM. The first piece of that work is providing an additional set of SCS web services.

Also, Chuck Freeman of the EPA Office of Air and Radiation and I are organizing a new governance group that will address standards, procedures, and policies specific to EEFIM. We are just beginning to set up this group and are looking for members. Please contact Chuck Freeman or me if you would like information about participating.

What lessons have you learned through your experience with E-Enterprise?

The main lesson I have learned is that collaboration and diverse perspectives are essential to a successful product.

Each environmental agency, as a co-regulator in E-Enterprise, has its own set of challenges, solutions, responsibilities, and drivers, which makes the E-Enterprise initiative especially complex. There are many different technical platforms and tools in use and varying IT investments already committed, and there is growing interest on the part of the public in participating in the overall environmental protection mission. While a challenge, this complexity ensures that the solution will be more inclusive, flexible, and accessible.