nVIRO Contributes to Safety and Continuity during the COVID-19 Crisis

PUBLISHED 05/01/2020 by WINDSOR SOLUTIONS

PORTLAND, OR - Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE)

Michigan EGLE processes permits from companies as large as automakers and as small as neighborhood dry cleaners and gas stations. The permitting process and related inspections and compliance reporting activities are essential to ensure those businesses operate with adequate protections for health and the environment.  

For the EGLE Water Resources Division (WRD), their implementation of the nVIRO ecosystem, “MiWaters,” has been an integral tool in helping them fulfill this mission, while providing a high level of customer service to the regulated community and the public.

On March 23, 2020, the State of Michigan issued a Shelter at Home order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Michigan residents were ordered to stay at home except for essential activities. Businesses deemed nonessential were asked to have current employees cease reporting to the workplace.

The nVIRO ecosystem helped to make this transition virtually seamless to EGLE staff who were now directed to work from home, providing web-based access to agency staff as well as the regulated community and the public.

Throughout this period:

  • Regulated community members such as business owners, individuals, consultants, contractors, and government agencies were able to continue submitting online applications and tracking progress of their application through the permitting process. Existing permit holders were able to continue submitting required compliance reports and could easily keep apprised of upcoming reporting needs.

  • Agency staff working from home continued reviewing and processing permit applications submitted through nVIRO, interacting electronically with permittees via the system, and developing and generating permit documents, and issuing permits. Staff were able to continue to conduct inspections in cases where social distancing could be maintained and were also able to receive and review electronic schedules of compliance through the system

  • The Public was able to interact with the agency as before, whether performing online inquiries or commenting on items of interest such as Public Notices.

“Having an online application allowed us to transition extremely quickly to the work from home scenario and allowed staff to continue to perform their vital work to protect Michigan’s environment and public health. In some permitting programs we actually issued more permits during this time, than the same time last year.”

– Sara Ehinger, Licensing and Technology Support Unit, Water Resources Division MI EGLE

CONTACT Simon Watson

Simon Watson

Windsor Solutions
(503) 675-7833 ext. 206
Email