Media Contact: Thomas Mullen
Phone: (310) 795-4196
E-mail: [email protected]
SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
LOS ANGELES - The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has signed a two-year subscription with SmartComment Software, which the agency will use to handle more than a thousand comment periods per year related to environmental issues.
"Citizens want to know that they're being heard when it comes to decisions affecting the environment around them," said Tim Mullen, co-founder of SmartComment Software. "We are confident our software will be a valuable conduit for this dialogue, and we take very seriously our responsibility to help the Wyoming DEQ bring new levels of transparency and accountability to the public comment process."
As the agency in charge of protecting the state's environment, the Wyoming DEQ manages roughly 1,400 comment periods per year related to air and water permitting, proposed rule changes, and other sensitive environmental matters.
In contrast to the traditional, or "paper", method of comment management, SmartComment offers a web-based comment submission portal, a central cloud-based database for storing comments, and interactive tools that allow the agency to analyze and efficiently respond to them. Once received, comments can be organized by topic, giving agency decision-makers new levels of understanding about the public opinion and areas of interest surrounding a particular issue, Mullen said.
SmartComment Software has been used to manage public comment periods related to a number of high-profile transportation and real estate projects, including the proposed $5.4 billion extension of the 710 Freeway in Los Angeles. Mullen said it will prove equally valuable in helping officials at the Wyoming DEQ stay engaged with citizens, while eliminating paper work and inefficiencies inherent in traditional comment management.
"Besides being a meaningful tool for public engagement, SmartComment provides its users with a never-before-seen view of the issue in front of them." Mullen said. "It's the most powerful comment management system available."