E-Enterprise Projects Spotlight
E-Enterprise Facility Team Webinar:
This webcast is of the E-Enterprise Facility Team Phase II Kickoff Plenary Webinar from September 22, 2016. The Facility Team is comprised of representatives from EPA, states, local governments and tribes working toward a common authoritative data set on facilities that all co-regulators can use. The team is beginning Phase II of their work, which kicked off in summer 2016. They are building on the knowledge gained from Phase I. Input for Phase II will be solicited from state, local governments and tribes, industry, and other interested parties through broad outreach and focused communication with stakeholders.
Water Quality Tribal Roadmap
The Water Quality Tribal Roadmap project seeks to support tribes in submitting and maintaining data submissions to the Water Quality eXchange. The excel-based tools generates a road map document, in rich text format (.rtf), that guides a tribe through working with water quality data and how they can approach data management and submissions. The customized tribal roadmap is based on answers to a series of questions and can provide value to a tribe whether they are just beginning to report water data or have been reporting it for a decade or more. Excel was used as a tool to generate the guide because it is commonly-owned software which is internet independent. Other data summarization functions are also in the tool to support tribes in maintaining knowledge of water quality on tribal lands. The Water Quality Tribal Roadmap team consisted of EPA headquarters and regional staff and representatives from eight tribes. Find the tool at: Water Data and Tools: STORET and WQX.
Interoperable Watershed Monitoring – Availability and use of water data for water resource protection
The Interoperable Watersheds Monitoring project supports the advancement of watershed monitoring networks to consolidate data from diverse sources into an interoperable and accessible data platform. Development of an integrated and interoperable watershed monitoring program will expand the data available for water quality, support integrated water resource management, promote citizen science, incorporates continuous monitoring with traditional monitoring techniques, increases efficiency, and increases scientific knowledge of water quality (e.g., nutrient loading impacts). The first phase of the project focuses on aligning monitoring data from 3-5 watersheds from the array of available data sets. The longer term goal is to expand this to a national framework that other watersheds could implement.
Smart Tools for Inspectors – Improving field inspection processes through mobile tools
The Smart Tools for Inspectors project seeks to streamline environmental inspection processes and develop software solutions that will enable EPA and state inspectors to efficiently prepare for, conduct, and report on field inspections. Currently, inspectors must rely on time consuming and labor intensive methods to collect background and field information and to generate inspection reports. Moreover, data points, such as potential violations, are often not in a consistent or easily-interpretable format and must be manually entered into the systems of record. Smart tools software will enable inspectors to electronically enter data during an inspection, enable the use of a standard checklist to ensure consistent inspections, pre-populate facility and other data, capture inspector and facility signatures, and transmit data to national and state systems in a standard format, among other features. Overall the software will reduce the time spent per each inspection, allow inspectors to target a larger universe of facilities, and increase the quality of decision-making based on better data.
Pesticides Label Matching – Improve accuracy, effectiveness and safe pesticide use
The Pesticides Label Matching project seeks to modernize and streamline the decades-old work process for conducting pesticide product label inspections. Currently, the process of manually sampling and reviewing a limited number of pesticide labels creates significant, longstanding problems for pesticide consumers, inspectors, and registrants. The project will develop a “smart label” for pesticide products and a mobile application of optical character recognition technology that can be used by regulated entities, the states, and EPA. This “Smart Pesticide Label” project will dramatically improve inspectors’ efficiency, a larger universe of labels will be inspected, and compliance rate will improve over time.
Local Government Portal – Compliance assistance tool for local governments
The Local Government Portal project seeks to overcome endemic local government capacity limitations, especially within small communities, in complying with environmental regulations while fulfilling their responsibilities to own/operate environmental services and infrastructure needed by their citizens. This project will also be designed to help communities of all sizes to have easier access to information aimed at improving environmental and public health outcomes and help local governments make their town, city, or county more sustainable.
The Lean and Information Technology (IT) Toolkit
Lean and information technology are two important ways that environmental agencies are streamlining and modernizing the business of how they protect human health and the environment. In December 2015, an E-Enterprise state/EPA workgroup released the Lean and Information Technology Toolkit, which explores how Lean and IT can be used to:
- Efficiently design new products and services to better meet customer needs (Lean startup),
- Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing processes (Lean process improvement), and
- Reduce the costs and risks of developing new IT products (Agile development).
The Lean and Information Technology Toolkit provides how-to guidance, resources, and tips for making improvements in product conceptualization, process improvement, and IT product development; and describes how environmental agencies can collaborate effectively on improvement projects.