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Michigan Site Registry Data Warehouse

MICHIGAN SITE REGISTRY DATA WAREHOUSE

Windsor Solutions partnered with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to design a Site Registry system that would provide a consistent view of site data throughout the agency and across the state. 

The outcome of this collaborative effort is a system that presents a comprehensive picture of the regulated activities and compliance history at a site of environmental concern to the state. Due to its overwhelming success the system has been shared with five other states (Kansas, North, Dakota, Hawaii, and Colorado) over the last several years.  Each state has contributed to the effort by enhancing system functionality or upgrading technology (currently deployed using the latest Microsoft technologies).

Furthermore by using the Site Profiler, its integrated site model and through integration with the OpenNode2 the MDEQ was able to quickly exchange data with the EPA through the Exchange Network in a turnkey manner.

THE CHALLENGE

The Michigan DEQ administers a diverse number of programs that are designed to protect the environment and the public’s health through proper management of information. The agency is organized into several program areas: pollution prevention, air, land, waste, water and assistance and support services.

Like many environmental agencies, the Michigan employs many different information systems that have been designed to meet the specific needs of their program area, addressing regulatory requirements and organizational structure. This has the effect of making it difficult for the DEQ to connect these systems and understand what is taking place at a site across the spectrum of environmental programs.  Internal and external stakeholders need a more holistic view of the data regarding regulated activities occurring across the state.

Technology drivers were pushing the DEQ away from a segregated regulatory approach to an agency-wide planning and reporting. The DEQ explained that department management, regulated entities, non-governmental organizations and the general public were frustrated that despite large investments, the existing systems being program specific failed to assess cross-program effectiveness at the site or community level.

Further, public demands for information through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests consume limited department time and resources to respond.

The DEQ wanted to bring this program information that resides in many disconnected systems, together and make it available to stakeholders through a single sophisticated data warehouse employing rich mapping functionality for assessment of the data.

THE APPROACH

Windsor Solutions first conducted business needs analysis and created design tasks for the development of a browser-based application and enterprise-wide data warehouse that would support the integration of data from agencies in Michigan that are subject to environmental regulation.

A current systems assessment was conducted on seven agency program systems in order to develop an enterprise data model that would be a logical and physical database. Analysis tasks focused on how the different programs use site information and how any differences in usage should be accounted for when designing an integrated data source for the entire agency.

Windsor then developed an enterprise-wide data model of the site and compliance information that would be shared across the agency and conducted consensus sessions to ensure the model would allow duplicated data to be integrated without conflicting with any program’s specific data needs.

THE RESULTS

The design of the system is centered upon addressing the challenges associated with integrating and sharing common data across multiple agencies. This includes geographic location data and affiliation data (site owners, contacts and addresses) and compliance monitoring and enforcement information.

The resulting system has 4 main core components:

  • A site reconciliation application for identifying and reconciling duplicated data
  • An integrated site identification data warehouse
  • A tabular inquiry application
  • A map based  inquiry application

Site Profiler allows the system administrator(s) to perform reconciliation of site data by:

  • Identifying potential duplicate sites
  • Intelligent algorithms are employed to identify candidate couplets including geographic radius, and soundex (“sounds like”) searches.
  • Merging of duplicate sites, combining data from the different source systems into a single site record.
  • Deferring to program data administrators for evaluation and merging / rejection.

Data loaded from the source systems are presented in an integrated fashion, and are accessible through a tabular inquiry interface well as map inquiry interface.  Data is accordingly presented in both a tabular fashion as well as within maps with associated geopolitical layers. Key site data is downloadable significantly facilitating resolution of FOIA requests.

The application is available to internal staff for program coordination.  In addition an internet version is available for public inquiry.  Sensitive data is automatically stripped from the public version ensuring confidentiality and data integrity.

Users of the system can ask, questions such as:

 

  • What regulated activities are taking place near me?
  • Who has had violations of program X within X miles of me?
  • Who has permits in my congressional district?
  • What are the potential sources of pollution in this watershed?

The implementation of Site Profiler has realized the following goals:

  • Established an agency-wide data sharing environment.
  • Reduction in FOIA requests (e.g., ‘Who’s doing what nearby?’) by exposing non-confidential data directly to the public thus reducing agency burden.
  • Ad Hoc data access for the legislature, the public, and the regulated community
  • Assisted with internal coordination (e.g., during permit reviews or enforcement actions)
  • Exchange of Facility Identification data (FacID3.0) with the EPA using the Exchange network.


Details

CLIENT: Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality
DISCIPLINES: Air, Land, Water, Health, Natural Resources, Cross-discipline
SERVICES: Custom/COTS Solutions, Data Management, Exchange Network, Geospatial
PRODUCTS: nSITE

Interested in learning more?

Steve Rosenberger

Contact Steve Rosenberger
Windsor Solutions
(503) 675-7833 ext. 204
Email