Ongoing Projects

 

For more information about any of these projects, please contact Justin Kenney at (802) 585-8171 or john.sears@vermont.gov or take a look at our quarterly report.

Drinking Water and Pollution Control State Revolving Fund Audits (February, 2014)
Petroleum Cleanup Fund Reimbursements (February, 2014)
Wetlands Permitting (February, 2014)
Grants and Contracts (May, 2014)
Source Protection Permitting (May, 2014)
Stormwater General Permit (May, 2014)
DEC Incident Tracking (July, 2014)
Facility Information Sharing (October, 2014)
Receipts Processing (October, 2014)
Public Notice (October, 2014)
Construction Procurement (March, 2015)
Identification and Prioritization of Water Pollution Restoration Projects (March, 2015)
VTRANS-ANR Title 19 (March, 2015)
Groundwater Reclassification (July, 2015)
ECO AmeriCorps (July, 2015)
Licensing and Certification (L&C) (July, 2015)
Act 250 Application Processing (December, 2015)
Land Acquisition (December, 2015)
Financial Monitoring and Compliance (December, 2015)
Permit Performance Standards (July, 2016)
Act 250 and Section 248 Response Coordination (February, 2017)
Permit to Construct (March, 2017)

 

Drinking Water and Pollution Control State Revolving Fund Audits (February, 2014)

The Facilities Engineering Division administers the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds in addition to state and federal grants for the upgrade of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure statewide. A memorandum of understanding with the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank, who co-administers the funds, requires certification that final project costs have been audited. With a backlog of ~1100 accounts to audit, and a recognition that the number of new loans awarded was outpacing the number of audits that could be completed each year by the auditor, the program saw a need to review current practices, identify opportunities for improvement, and design a more efficient audit process.

Major Tasks

  • Use a real-time audit process to check four major internal functions involved with projects.
  • Conduct a full audit on 5-10% of projects (versus 100%) to test the accuracy of the real-time audit and identify internal processes that could benefit from more oversight.
  • Develop and implement risk based criteria for audit selection.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Elimination of backlog by March 2016.

Expected Results

  • Reallocation of unspent dollars to the State Revolving Fund for future use.
  • ​Increased protection against risk and fraud.

Actual Results
Since the original audit, $3,139,497 worth of funds were de-obligated and returned to the fund.  In addition:

  • A massive, line-by-line data cleanup was completed in LGTS by comparing each account to its electronic data to identify those projects that had potential funds to be returned.  This process allowed us to reasonably trust the data for purposes of tracking and evaluation of numbers of accounts that may need closed out.
  • A new project closeout Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was created which categorized projects as either 1) ongoing 2) administrative or 3) needing a closeout.
  • Of note is the “administrative closeout” definition which we defined as loans that were in repayment for the correct amount and no formal revised schedule would be needed.  This was a change from the previous process immediately following the LEAN event.
  • Revised the closeout template and transferred to an e-signature process.
  • Implemented a repayment start date SOP to allow the SRF auditor to identify upcoming potential accounts that may need closed out.As part of We believe this categorization of project closeouts has saved a significant amount of time spent on closeouts.

Implementation Progress 
Complete (06/29/17)

Back to project list


Petroleum Cleanup Fund Reimbursements (February, 2014)

The Petroleum Cleanup Fund provides funding for the cleanup of leaks from above and below ground storage tanks. Roughly $5 million is dispersed annually through a reimbursement process. The lead-time to issue reimbursement checks to customers (tank owners and their consultants) was too long (only 31% of reimbursements were made within 30 days). An innovative approach was needed to speed up the reimbursement process.

Major Tasks

  • Accept electronic invoices.
  • Establish a common checklist.
  • Streamline approval of invoices.
  • Automate workflow and create a transparent payment tracking system.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 90% reimbursements within 30 days of claim receipt date.
  • Reduce internal processing time by 50%.

Expected Results

  • Faster payment.
  • Onliine reimbursement status tracking.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Wetlands Permitting (February, 2014)

The Vermont Wetlands Program is responsible for identifying and protecting wetlands and the functions and values they provide. The goal of the Wetlands Program is to achieve no net loss of significant wetlands or wetland function. This goal is mainly achieved by assisting the Vermont public and professional community in avoiding impacts to wetlands and wetland buffers through personal contact with District Wetland Ecologists. Due to a cumbersome process and database system, Wetlands staff were spending a large portion of time on redundant, non-value added activities.

Major Tasks

  • Improve database and tracking system.
  • Update website with user friendly information.
  • Develop standard operating procedures.
  • Auto generate letters and forms.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 50% of staff time spent on proactive wetland protection.
  • 100% documentation for all permits and site visits.

Expected Results

  • Greater wetland protection.
  • ​Easier and quicker access to wetland information.
  • Faster response times for customers.

Actual Results

  • The Wetlands Program has a new database where data can be entered in the field and standard form letters can be created with the push of a button.  Documentation of projects increased by 150%.
  •  In the year before project clsoeout, approximately 60% of staff time on site visits was proactive, exceeding our goal of 50%.
  •  In the year before project closeout, approximately 23% of staff time was spent on proactive protection tasks.  This number is projected to increase in the future.

Implementation Progress
Complete (10/05/16)

Back to project list


Grants and Contracts (May, 2014)

The Administration and Innovation Division provides oversight over granting and contracting activities for the Department. Roughly 225 grants and contracts are approved on an annual basis. In the existing system, various duties associated with those grants and contracts were performed by over 60 different staff spread across the Department with one person responsible for execution and payment. The process was mostly paper and involved many levels of approval. In extreme cases, agreements could take over a year to be executed.

Major Tasks

  • Consolidate grant and contract management under Grant Management Specialists.
  • Develop a grants and contracts management system.
  • Move toward electronic submittals and e-signatures.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 30 days from invoice date to date of payment.
  • 30 days from vendor notification to agreement.

Expected Results

  • More time for project implementation.
  • Faster payments to customers.
  • Less time spent on grant administration by technical staff.

Actual Results
The process for developing grants and contracts has been standardized across the entire department. We now have dedicated staff to assist in the process and track the time it takes to develop all our agreements. Since there was no standard tracking of time prior to the Lean event, we have a limited ability to compare our current data. However, we have made significant steps towards decreasing the time it takes to develop grant and contracts, as well as decreased the time to pay our partners for their work. We currently average less than 30 days to pay invoices and less than 60 days for issuing a grant or contract.

Implementation Progress
Complete (01/17/17)

 Back to project list


Source Protection Permitting (May, 2014)

All public water supply systems are required to have a source water permit for any new source, hydrofracturing or deepening of an existing source, or any increase in withdrawal of an existing source. The process was not adequately standardized, can be lengthy, and was unclear. In addition, most of the process was paper. An opportunity existed to address some of these issues.

Major Tasks

  • Standardize processes to reduce re-work and increase the number of complete applications.
  • Shift source protection plan approval to be done in parallel with construction permitting.
  • Develop permit templates and checklists.
  • Consolidate public notice periods.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Increase administratively and technically complete applications by 10%.
  • Reduce hydrogeologist processing time by 46%.

Expected Results

  • Faster response times.
  • ​More intuitive applicant process.
  • Improved data collection and tracking.

Actual Results
The Source Permitting Program has a new electronic submission process, improved permitting and permit application tools, and the time associated with Source Protection Plan approval has been removed from the source permitting PEP time.  Approximately 38 days have been saved with these efforts i.e. a 32% reduction in the time for the source permitting process.  Further gains of at least 30 days will be realized if the permit process improvement bill is passed.

Implementation Progress
Complete (04/12/16)

Back to project list


Stormwater General Permit (May, 2014)

The Vermont Stormwater Management Program provides regulatory oversight and technical assistance to ensure proper design and construction of stormwater treatment and control practices necessary to minimize the adverse impacts of stormwater runoff to surface waters. This is done primarily through program staff reviewing and issuing a variety of Stormwater permits. The ability to effectively acquire and manage permit and project information is crucial to the success of program operations. Roughly 75% of applications received were administratively and technically incomplete. In addition, application and project information was manually entered into a database multiple times in multiple places. Furthermore, a large percentage of projects were delinquent on inspections, re-certifications, fees, and permit renewal requirements. The program saw a need to make some significant improvements to their process

Major Tasks

  • Allow for application and fee submittal online.
  • Automate billing and payment.
  • Utilize tiered technical review.
  • Develop a fully functional database.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 90% of applications received administratively complete.
  • 80% of applications received technically complete.

Expected Results

  • Improved customer service.
  • Better collection and tracking of data.

Actual Results
The Stormwater Program has a new database.  Our processes associated with public notice, generating permit authorizations, and billing have been largely automated.  In addition, time spent on the administrative review of applications, public noticing, billing, and permit issuance has declined 46%, on average.

Implementation Progress
Complete (04/06/16)

Back to project list


DEC Incident Tracking (July, 2014)

Thousands of complaints regarding alleged environmental violations are received by the Department each year through various means. A database system exists to enter, track and manage those complaints as they move through the referral process. There was a need to better understand how the Department-wide incident tracking system was performing and being used by DEC staff and what improvements were needed to increase usage.

Major Tasks

  • Increase availability of trainings for staff.
  • Enhance user interface.
  • Enhance database functionality.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 90% of staff utilize the incident tracking database.

Expected Results

  • Better tracking and management of complaints.
  • ​Better communication and coordination between enforcement and regulatory programs.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Facility Information Sharing (October, 2014)

The Air Quality and Climate Division (AQCD) monitors air quality and air pollution sources, proposes regulations to improve existing air quality, ensures compliance with the regulations, and issues permits to control pollution from sources of air contaminants across the state. Three sections of AQCD manage facility data for 200+ common facilities. This information was stored in program specific databases which makes finding the relevant information about a particular facility difficult and time consuming.

Major Tasks

  • Develop a single web based portal to access data from three sections.
  • Develop best practices for inputting and updating contact information and naming facilities.
  • Make all permits available online via ERT.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Decrease number of data locations by 50%.
  • Increase number of permits available online by 600%.

Expected Results

  • More efficient collection and analysis of data.
  • ​Improved public service.

Actual Results
The new database has been constructed and is being actively used by the Compliance and Permitting Sections.  The database saves resources, primarily in regards to time, in that staff can find permits within the database and are no longer required to look in facility folders on the Y:Drive.  Additionally, Permitting staff can easily identify whether an enforcement action has been taken against the facility and then search for the specific document in the Y:Drive.  The third section of the database, pertaining to Registration information is still being implemented and has not been utilized by the Permitting or Compliance Sections and more time will be needed to identify additional efficiencies resulting from that portion of the project.

The construction of the database has entailed a large amount of IT resources over an almost 3 year period, as well as considerable resources from the AQCD staff.  The AQCD is hopeful that future efficiencies resulting from the project will offset the resources needed to complete and implement it.  The public benefit from the project is much more apparent, as the AQCD moved from having a small number of Title 5 permits available online to having all active permits available online to the public.

Implementation Progress
Complete (10/09/17)

Back to project list


Receipts Processing (October, 2014)

In 2014, the Department received over $11 million in receipts including payments for numerous fees and registrations, loan repayments, enforcement fines and penalties, laboratory sampling billings, and court ordered settlements. In most cases, divisions and their respective programs received those receipts (mainly in the form of checks) directly from the U.S. mail to their specific division/program for initial processing and handling. With a lack of standard operating procedures, this led to some inconsistency between programs and caused delays in processing time.

Major Tasks

  • Create division specific standard operating procedures.
  • Provide regional offices with deposit scanners.
  • Accept credit cards online.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 95% electronic submittal.
  • Reduce time from receipt to deposit from 21 days to 3 days.

Expected Results

  • Timely deposit of checks and payment received from the customer.

Actual Results

  • Number of divisions making a deposit at least once per week has increased from 50% to 75%
  • Number of days between date received and date of deposit was averaging 20 days.  They are now averaging 6 days.
  • % of payments made electronically increased from 5% to 11%

Implementation Progress
Complete (06/27/17)

Back to project list


Public Notice (October, 2014)

The Department currently has public notice processes for 85 different permits. Nearly all have unique federal or state-required processes that result in inconsistent notice and comment periods for even permits that address the same project. This can cause an applicant and the public to be confused as to how to effectively participate in the process. Additionally, the inconsistent requirements increase DEC costs and create administrative inefficiency i.e. staff is required to provide multiple/different notice types and may be required to attend multiple public informational meetings for a project.

Major Tasks

  • Add a new subchapter to Title 10 that creates 5 public notice processes across DEC.
  • Develop one stop web location for all DEC public notices.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Reduce the number of Department public notice processes from 84 to 5 (94.1% reduction).
  • Consolidate the number of electronic sources for notices from 5 sources to 1.

Expected Results

  • Improved access to information.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Construction Procurement (March, 2015)

The Facilities Engineering Division, through the State Revolving Fund, provides support and funding for drinking water and pollution construction projects. They are involved in putting contracts out to bid, award, execution of the contract, change orders, and site visits through the end of the warranty period. Very little written documentation of the construction procurement process existed. With a small staff, there were significant questions related to which tasks were critical and which were discretionary given a significant amount of overtime hours being logged.

Major Tasks

  • Utilize technology to reduce in person meetings.
  • Practice discretion with certain project aspects.
  • Identify opportunities for consultant to assist with process improvement.
  • Move toward electronic submissions.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Reduce overtime by 15%.
  • 10% increase of on-time projects by December 2016.
  • 10% increase of on-budget projects by December 2016.

Expected Results

  • Streamlined procurement process.
  • ​Clearer expectations and guidance for customers.
  • Better utilization of SRF funds.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Identification and Prioritization of Water Pollution Restoration Projects (March, 2015)

The Watershed Management Division (WSMD) plays a strong role in the identification, prioritization, and funding of remediation projects. Finding and funding these projects is critical to sediment and nutrient pollution reduction efforts. Unfortunately, the most important and cost-effective projects are not always the ones selected due to inconsistencies in the tactical basin planning process and funding criteria. In light of new requirements associated with Act 64, WSMD sought to improve upon their process and better align prioritization and funding mechanisms for the greatest benefit.

Major Tasks

  • Develop and implement stage gate criteria.
  • Standardize tactical basin planning work process.
  • Develop a live, continuously updated implementation table.
  • Revise funding criteria.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 100% of tactical basins plan projects follow a new streamlined process by January 2016.
  • 50% of incoming projects by June 2016, 75% of incoming projects by 2017, and 100% of incoming projects by 2019 provide pollution reduction estimates.
  • Implementation tables for tactical basin plans are updated continuously.

Expected Results

  • Greater utilization of federal and state dollars.
  • ​Increased clarity for grant and contract seekers.
  • Better tracking of overall progress toward water quality goals.
  • Better coordination between MAPP and ERP/CWIP.

Actual Results
The implementation of this lean event and subsequent modernization has revolutionized how WSMD identifies and funds projects. Through the process, MAPP and CWIP met each of the objectives identified above, and provided new resources by which Vermonters can see the work necessary to achieve water quality improvement Statewide. These results are assisting the Vermont General Assembly in their efforts to direct clean water funding in the fiscal year 2018 State budget, and the 2018-2019 capital bill. The following publicly-available resources were developed as primary or secondary outcomes to this work:

Implementation Progress
Complete (04/04/17)

Back to project list


VTRANS-ANR Title 19 (March, 2015)

Title 19 requires VTrans to consult with ANR on instream projects like culvert replacements, road embankments, and other instream work. Currently, Title 19 projects follow two VTrans pathways: a Maintenance and Operations Bureau (MOB Districts) pathway and a Project Delivery Bureau (PDB) pathway. DEC River Management Engineers were involved in each pathway to varying degrees, in some cases more than necessary. There was a desire to standardize and clarify both pathways, leverage technology for improved efficiencies, improve tracking of Title 19 projects at the District level, and reduce re-do loops.

Major Tasks

  • Increased training and communication.
  • Risk based permitting with categorical consultation.
  • Centralized SharePoint.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 100% utilization of SharePoint by March 30, 2016.
  • 25% reduction in Title 19 consultation times by March 20, 2017.

Expected Results

  • Reallocation of River Management Engineer time to other higher risk projects.
  • ​Improved coordination between VTrans and ANR.

Actual Results
The development of various SharePoint sites provided a new basis for determining the level of coordination that is occurring and how the timing of that coordination benefits projects and the process flow. It will take years of use to measure how this relates to the overall success of the process.  There has been indication from the VTrans Districts of the willingness to participate in District audits and for ANR to provide further training to VTrans staff. All of this is working towards meeting the goals identified before and during the Lean event.

Implementation Progress
Complete (04/08/16)

Back to project list


Groundwater Reclassification (July, 2015)

According to Chapter 12 of the Environmental Protection Rules, all groundwater is considered Class III unless otherwise reclassified by the Secretary of ANR. The Drinking Water and Groundwater Protection Division in coordination with the Groundwater Coordinating Committee is responsible for recommending groundwater classifications or reclassifications to the Secretary. Fewer than a dozen sites have been reclassified as Class IV in the past 20-25 years and reclassifications, on average, take 1-2 years. The current reclassification process lacked clarity and often led to improper submittal of information and materials, especially at the petition phases. Also, because the roles and responsibilities of involved parties were not well defined, a number of re-do loops occurred. Under a new draft Groundwater Rule, hundreds of sites may need to be reclassified within a 5-year time frame. Given this, there was a definite need to streamline and improve the process.

Major Tasks

  • Shifted reclassification to be one of several tools within Corrective Action Plan Development.
  • Shifted public input earlier in the process.
  • Completed a site prioritization matrix to guide future reclassifications.
  • Enhance ANR Atlas mapping layers.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Complete 31 reclassifications by the end of 2017.

Expected Results

  • More timely reclassifications.
  • Increased transparency.
  • Improved public comment.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


ECO AmeriCorps (July, 2015)

In June, 2015 Vermont DEC received funding to implement a statewide AmeriCorps program. The program aims to place between 20-25 AmeriCorps members in water quality focused positions with a variety of non-profit and governmental entities through the state. DEC serves as program coordinator and provides administrative and technical support to members and sponsors. Given that this was an entirely new program for DEC, there was an opportunity to build it from the ground up using Lean principles and tools.

Major Tasks

  • Develop host site and member RFPs.
  • Select and match host sites and members.
  • Provide ongoing member support.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 100% of members completing service year with satisfactory experience.
  • 90% of members completing service term.

Expected Results

  • Increased capacity at the local level for environmental restoration work.
  • Improved work force.

Actual Results
 

  • Increased amount of grant award to grow program in the second year; capacity of program from 20 full time members in 2015 to 24 full time members in 2016 without increasing program support staff.
  • 8 of the 18 member completing service during 2015-2016 service year applied to the ECO AmeriCorps program for a second year (44%).
  • 13 out of 20 original community host sites, applied to host a member for the 2016-2017 service year (65%).
  • Received praise from SerVermont (statewide oversight commission) on an excellent first year.  Staff believed that other AmeriCorps program operating in the state and new programs forming could utilize the Lean principals applied to this program.

Implementation Progress
Complete (09/27/16)

Back to project list


Licensing and Certification (July, 2015)

The Department maintains roughly 8 certification/licensing programs across a wide range of media. These are managed with several data management technologies including ASP.NET, Clarion, and Excel. Because these are distinct solutions that are not integrated, a single environmental professional could exist in multiple databases, renew their license through multiple processes, and pay fees multiple times to the department each year. The manual nature of the process increases the likelihood of data entry errors and causes significant delays. It also means that the public is not easily able to search for information online. There was an opportunity to address these issues by thinking of L&C at a department level.

Major Tasks

  • Analyze the possibility of outsourcing L&C tasks to the Office of Professional Regulation.
  • Ensure programs are using a consolidated data management system.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Percent of programs with consolidated data management systems in place.

Expected Results

  • Better use of limited IT resources.
  • ​Common platform for new L&C programs.
  • ​Easier access to information by customers and the public.
  • ​Reallocation of staff resources.

Actual Results
Transferring the Designers and WWTF Operators will free up approximately 1 FTE of administrative time for value-added activities. For the designer program, this will allow staff time to administer a new installer program. For the WWTF operators, staff will be shifted to support other Watershed Management Division permitting programs. Both programs were currently losing revenue when counting administrative salaries. Fees will be collected for designer exams and DEC-sponsored training events.

Implementation Progress
Complete (10/04/16)

Back to project list


Act 250 Application Processing (December, 2015)

The Act 250 permit process is 45 years old, and happens across 9 districts throughout the state. The process and tools currently in use are dated and are applied inconsistently across the districts. Further, budgets are shrinking and staff are retiring, which means the same work will need to be done moving forward with fewer resources and less institutional knowledge. This project sought to standardize the Act 250 application process and identify efficiencies for the applicant and staff

Major Tasks

  • Adopt Administrative Procedures Manual.
  • Consolidate databases.
  • Develop standard work.
  • Better coordination with Permit Specialists.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Percent of applications deemed administratively incomplete.
  • For majors, percent that involve a hearing recess order.
  • Number of days between date of receipt of last evidence to date of issuance of final decision.

Expected Results

  • Better understanding of the Act 250 process by the public.
  • ​Consistency across districts.
  • Reduced processing times.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Land Acquisition (December, 2015)

Acquisition of land by ANR for recreational and conservation purposes is guided by a 1999 Land Conservation Plan and done through fee simple purchase of property, purchase of interests (conservation easements), and acceptance of donations. In general, the acquisition process has many steps and can be cumbersome, is often both time-sensitive while taking a significant amount of time, lacks transparency, and often requires significant legal and survey resources. Additionally, the acquisition process is not keeping up with the LARC process leading to a significant backlog of projects. There is a backlog of several dozen approved acquisitions totaling approximately $12 million. Furthermore, there are other ANR teams or committees that often duplicate LARC's review of proposed acquisition projects. As such, an opportunity existed to streamline the process and the role of LARC, reduce unnecessary redundancy, explore opportunities for resources sharing, and improve the timeliness of acquisitions.

Major Tasks

  • Streamline ANR review.
  • Find contract efficiencies and develop standards.
  • Update ANR Land Conservation Plan.
  • Consolidate and enhance databases.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Reduce acquisition time for state lands by 25%.
  • Reduce number of contracts for each acquisition by 50%.

Expected Results

  • Better align staff resources to meet public demand.
  • ​Enhanced communication between staff, leadership, and partners.
  • Clearer conservation goals.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Financial Monitoring and Compliance (December, 2015)

Both the Administration and Innovation Division's Financial Operations group and the Facilities Engineering Division's Financial Management section have responsibilities for the monitoring, compliance and auditing of State and Federally funded grants, contracts, and loans. There are numerous requirements associated with these funding sources and unfortunately there is uncertainty in regards to where they do and don't apply, where they are being applied multiple times, where they are not being applied and should be, and where they are not required and are being applied. As a result of this uncertainty, the Department has been subject to a number of audit findings over the course of the past few years which has had financial consequences for the Department. Given that the Financial Operations group has been expanding their role in monitoring of state and federal grants for the Department, and recent retirements have occurred in the Facilities Engineering Division, this appeared to be a good opportunity to examine overlap in the two programs.

Major Tasks

  • Develop reference manual for all governing regulations.
  • Develop standard operating procedures.
  • Complete a skills matrix.
  • Complete implementation of the Loans and Grants Tracking System.

Key Performance Indicators

  • 100% of A-133 (Federal internal control) Audits received from sub-recipient prior to deadline.
  • Percent of entities receiving high quality onsite reviews once every 5 years.

Expected Results

  • Increased departmental capacity.
  • ​Fewer audits and audit findings.
  • Greater accuracy in financial reporting.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Permit Performance Standards (July, 2016)

In 1987, the Legislature established an annual report to track fees collected by each permit program, the average number of days required to issue each permit, whether DEC’s permit fees cover DEC’s permit costs, and recommendations for improving performance. This report is commonly referred to as the PEP report. Guidelines for calculating “DEC days” are contained in DEC’s 1996 Permit Review Procedure. Over the years, inconsistencies within the report have developed. DEC provides data on some permit programs but not all, for no apparent reason. The calculation of “DEC days” varies from program to program, despite the procedure adopted in 1996. Some programs find the report useful and relevant, others do not.

Major Tasks

  • Review statutory obligations for the PEP report.
  • Update Permit Review Procedure to standardize definitions and practices across programs.
  • Increase transparency and accessibility of PEP data, for both internal and external audiences.
  • Integrate PEP report with other information technology efforts within DEC.
  • Identify measures within PEP report that are redundant and seek legislative fixes if appropriate.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Increase % of DEC permits contained in PEP Report.
  • Develop a new Draft Permit Review Procedure.
  • Improve transparency and accessibility of PEP data.

Expected Results

  • Better collection and tracking of data.
  • B​etter understanding of DEC permit process and timeframes.
  • Strategic targeting of resources to improve permit times.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Act 250 and Section 248 Response Coordination (February, 2017)

The review of Section 248 and Act 250 permit applications requires input from various programs throughout the Agency. The existing process for soliciting comments on current applications involves a weekly email to over 200 staff.  The process often does not receive prompt responses to these requests and requires Office of Planning and Policy (OPP) staff to manually solicit comments for certain projects, leading to additional time spent to ensure completeness.  The current minimum timeframe for this process is a 21-day turnaround, but can be longer depending on the type of application.

Major Tasks

  • Improve application submittal materials.
  • Consolidate databases.
  • Develope a standard comment framework.
  • Implement SharePoint workflow.

Key Performance Indicators

  • % of applications deemed complete upon submittal.
  • % of time that technical comments are sufficient for filing on first submittal.

Expected Results

  • Improved coordination and tracking of technical comments.
  • Standardization of process.
  • Increased frequency and completeness of comments.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list


Permit to Construct a Public Water System (March, 2017)

The Public Water Construction Permitting Program is experiencing a backlog of public water system construction permits.  There are inconsistencies in the process and lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities between the technical and administrative staff.  There has been considerable turnover in staff over the last 5 years and the program has been under resourced for decades.  New federal regulations have increased permitting demands on the program and technical services provided to the SRF Program have increased as program requirements expand.  Taken together, these demands require a priority system to be in place for the work.  The permit application form is deficient, the quality of submittals from engineering consultants is often of poor quality, and PEP times do not meet standard.

Major Tasks

  • Update application and create external checklist.
  • Consider delegation of permit signature authority.
  • Implement new admin intake process.
  • Create permit process dashboards.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Reduce permit processing time to 120 days.
  • Reduce time from administratively complete to completion of technical review to 25 days.

Expected Results

  • Clearer instructions and more intuitive forms for applicants.
  • Improved permit process times.
  • Standardization of process.

Implementation Progress
In Progress

Back to project list