The Environmental Council of the States (“ECOS”) issued an August 2017 report titled:
Streamlining Permitting: An Inventory of State Environmental Agency Online Tools and Resources (“Report”)
The Report is authored by ECOS Law Clerk, Tyler Harrison, under the guidance of Executive Director and General Counsel, Alexandra Dunn.
The Report cites various states’ efforts to simplify/streamline the environmental permitting process. The goals in undertaking this effort are stated to include:
- Expediting permitting
- Providing compliance assistance
- Helping small businesses
Such simplification and streamlining are stated to:
. . .reduce the amount of time and manpower it takes to receive permits, allowing states and their stakeholders to achieve their desired goals faster and easier, especially in multi-permit situations.
Further benefits include enabling the public easier access to information which better enables regulatory compliance and facilitates economic development.
The Report contains what is described as “an inventory of examples of several areas in which state actions are advancing the permitting process.” The categories include:
- Present information and resources prior to the permitting process
- Enhance clarity and transparency
- Providing applicants procedural information
- Providing the opportunity for a more comprehensive conversation when navigating the permitting process
The information regarding the various states is stated to have been accessed from state environmental protection websites.
Activities listed for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality include:
- Permitting Assistance – Applicants receive multiple sources of assistance prior to any other permitting information
- Permit Tracking – Permit Tracking allows applicants to type in their permit number and receive the status of their application and the name of the permitting staff member handling the application
ECOS describes itself as the national nonprofit, nonpartisan association of state and territorial environmental agency leaders.
Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality Director Becky Keogh serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the organization.