States and U.S. EPA have been considering the use of online systems that can simplify and encourage compliance. State implementation of applications to facilitate and manage the environmental permitting process hold potential for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of applying for, reviewing, and obtaining permits for the regulated community and state implementing agencies.
Nine states and each of U.S. EPA’s permitting program offices (air, water, and waste management) formed a workgroup to:
- Define the continuum of different ePermitting systems in use;
- Describe the extent of use and current experiences with these systems at the state level; and
- Summarize the barriers to transitioning to paperless systems and prioritize the opportunities that offer the most potential to accelerate their evolution
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division developed and conducted a survey of the states to gather the data that forms the basis for the report. Separately, U.S. EPA provided consultant support.
Findings of the report include:
- ePermitting is a spectrum of functions, from downloadable application forms to fully integrated systems that provide single-point interfaces for multiple permits, work flow, and fee payment.
- Most states have incorporated at least some ePermitting functions, but opportunities remain to expand and integrate systems, and to share lessons learned across states and agencies.
- Developing a framework of measures for evaluating return on investment provided as a shared service could help states analyze and articulate the benefits and costs associated with ePermiting (see link to E-Enterprise ROI Metrics Calculator below).
Click here for information on the ePermitting ROI Metrics Calculator.