Pennsylvania DEP Hails New App for Inspections

The app allows DEP staffers to conduct electronic inspections of all surface activities at oil and gas sites, including erosion and sedimentation, waterways encroachment, waste management, and spill cleanup.

Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has launched an iPad app for electronic field inspections at oil and gas production sites and said the inspections support the Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations. State agencies have saved more than $156 million, and Gov. Tom Wolf has challenged GO-TIME to build upon this success by achieving $500 million in savings by 2020.

The app, developed in partnership with the Department of Transportation, allows DEP staffers to conduct electronic inspections of all surface activities at oil and gas sites, including erosion and sedimentation, waterways encroachment, waste management, and spill cleanup. Until now, inspections have been performed with clipboards and paper forms.

"DEP staff bring great knowledge and dedication to serving the citizens and protecting the environment of Pennsylvania," said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. "Much-needed technology upgrades, such as electronic inspections, will ensure we have systems in place to match our ambitions as we work to respond agilely to business needs and deliver the highest level of service and transparency to citizens, community organizations, and local governments."

The app will make the inspection process more accurate and efficient thanks to improved data quality, easier photo documentation, elimination of duplicate entry, electronic supervisor approval, and other features. DEP staffers also will be able to conduct more oil and gas field inspections, and Pennsylvanians will see surface inspection results sooner because results enter the DEP database and are posted on the O&G Oil and Gas mapping web site within days rather than weeks.

All 46 oil and gas surface activities inspection staffers will be using the app by the end of February 2017. DEP is developing a similar app for its 32 oil and gas sub-surface activities inspectors and expects to realize productivity savings once this is fully implemented. To learn more about GO-TIME, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/go-time/.

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