Continuous Improvement/SUCCESS Framework
2018 State of the Environment Report (ERR)

DERR staff use visual management systems to track their progress and address issues as they arise.

DERR staff use visual management systems to track their progress and address issues as they arise.

DERR is committed to continuous improvement to improve performance and implement innovations that advance operational quality, efficiency, and effectiveness. DERR employs technological tools to increase public access to information and improve operational efficiencies.

Continuous Improvement Spotlight: Support Staff Set — and Achieve — Goals for Exceptional Customer Service

As part of DEQ’s continuous improvement efforts, DERR Support Staff set goals to help provide exceptional service to the customers of DEQ.

The visual management board created by the DERR Support Staff is a tracking tool for progress towards its goals. Staff use the board to view the schedules of managers and support staff, provide kudos for a “job well done,” motivate each other, share a laugh, allow individual personalities to shine, keep track of projects, and ask for help when needed. Staff hold a weekly “huddle” to update the visual management board, discuss progress towards goals, and plan for the week. Team members discuss impediments to getting work done and how to fix issues. Staff also identify any issues needed to be raised to management for assistance or further discussion.

In 2018, DERR Support Staff also identified ways to improve and streamline document input into the DEQ records-management system. Online availability of documents provides the public with greater access to DERR records. Support Staff set a goal to scan 30,000 pages of documents a month into the DEQ eDocs electronic filing system. Scanning documents into eDocs is the first step toward making documents available to the public through the DEQ Interactive Map and the DEQ EZ Records Search. In 2018, members of the public have viewed over 30,000 DERR documents on the DEQ website.

Staff also intend to provide the public with faster access to DERR records. The State of Utah requires that agencies respond to Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requests within ten days. DERRs goal is more ambitious: respond to GRAMA requests within three days. Timely response to records requests results in a greater sense of transparency and helps the requestor quickly access the information needed about a property for business or real-estate transaction.

Ongoing Continuous Improvement Projects

DEQ Interactive Map

The DEQ Interactive Map is a web-based tool that allows the user— the public, consultants, facility owners/operators — to identify types and locations of sites and obtain information from the DERR electronic filing system on Superfund sites, Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) sites, Brownfields, underground storage tanks, and areas with real and or potential contamination. The revised Interactive Map, designed to be more user-friendly and comprehensive, was released to the public in April 2015. The mapping tool offers location-based information for everything from permits to Superfund sites.

UST tracking system

The tracking system reports the rate at which owners meet underground storage tank (UST) program requirements.

Database-driven reminder system

Database-generated reminder letters alert tank operators when their underground storage tank tests are due.

Increased uploads of documents into the agency’s electronic documents system (eDocs)

These document uploads ensure that the public, businesses, and environmental consultants have easy access to public information maintained by DERR.

Closing LUST sites opened before 1999

The LUST Remedial Assistance Section began reviewing and evaluating the obstacles to closing old cases to identify common obstacles and prioritizing sites to move them toward closure.  These sites are reviewed and obstacles analyzed to define action items that will get these old LUST sites closed. Since this project began in January 2018, the LUST Section has closed approximately 15 percent of the sites opened prior to 1999.

Underground storage tank (UST) tablet inspection app

The tablet app increases efficiencies in conducting and following up on tank compliance inspections by providing real-time inspection results to the database and facility owner/operator.

Online tank portal for underground storage tank contractor certification and operator training registration

Online access facilitates contractor certification and operator registration.

PST Fund online work plan and payment voucher tool

An online PST Trust Fund voucher submission tool is being developed to electronically receive and process PST Fund work plans and payment vouchers to improve accuracy and speed of processing.

Enforceable Written Assurances (EWA)

Division staff are working to reduce the amount of time required to issue an EWA by developing an EWA checklist, standardizing reasonable steps, prioritizing reviews, and reaching out to stakeholders early in the development process as needed.

CERCLA database deployment

This project, developed by the Department of Technology Service (DTS), migrates several existing forms into “.NET” to provide a stable software platform for the CERCLA Branch Sections to record critical site data to track and report site activities, create standardized reports, and make site-specific information more easily available to the public and other interested stakeholders.

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