Pennsylvania Environmental Alert Receives Innovation Award

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received the Council of State Governments 2002 Innovations Award for its eNOTICE system, designed to improve public participation in environmental permit reviews and new rulemaking.

"We are very proud that the Council of State Governments again has recognized Pennsylvania's efforts to protect and restore our environment with its 2002 Innovations Award," said Gov. Mark Schweiker. "For the seventh year in a row, Pennsylvania is being honored as a model other states and the federal government should follow to solve environmental problems."

DEP Secretary David E. Hess said the eNOTICE system allows the public participate more effectively in decision-making and become involved in the actions their government is taking.

"The credit for suggesting this system goes to our Environmental Justice Work Group, which thought this would be an effective way to share information with minority and low-income communities who often say they are left out of agency decision-making," said Hess.

eNOTICE is an electronic notification system that allows users to track permit applications through personalized e-mail updates. With eNOTICE, a user creates a free, password-protected account and selects the kind of notices they want to receive by e-mail.

Options include being notified of any new permits received in a user's community (township, county, city or borough); notification of the status of permit applications pre-selected by the user among the more than 183,000 active facilities regulated by DEP and included in the eFACTS information system; or the kind of new rules in areas, such as air, water or waste, that they would like to track.

About 2,700 people use eNOTICE. DEP typically sends out 1,100 eNOTICEs a day.

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