The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the regulatory agency charged with protecting that state’s land, air and water. To ensure public involvement during the course of its duties, the agency manages more than a thousand public comment periods per year soliciting input from citizens, businesses and other organizations related to environmental monitoring, permitting, enforcement and other activities. Wanting to improve the accessibility of its public comment periods and reduce the manual requirements of managing them, the agency hired SmartComment to provide electronic comment capabilities, as well as a digital platform for organizing, analyzing and responding to the comments.
What We Did
- Created an external internet page to accept electronic comments on agency comment periods. Agency IT staff needed only to put a link to the comment page on appropriate sections of the DEQ website
- Designed a secure database to store all submitted public comments, as well a suite of powerful tools to analyze them, including charts, graphs, maps and more
- Constructed a partitioned comment management and user environment for the DEQ’s separate departments, giving approved agency staff access only to their department’s comment periods. Departments include Air Quality, Water Quality, Land Quality, Industrial Siting and Solid & Hazardous Waste
- Built an in-agency project manager, allowing administrators to digitally create new comment periods with the click of a button. DEQ users can set a start/closing time and date for the comment period, as well as include comment topics, a map location, and other features
- Provide free, on-going support for agency administrators, including training, creating additional requested features, and all relevant software upgrades
Signing up for a SmartComment subscription in the fall of 2015, the Wyoming DEQ has used our comment management platform to handle dozens of comment periods across all of its departments. After just six months of use, the agency signed on with SmartComment through the end of 2018 and continues to rely on the software as the backbone of its public comment process.
What The Client Said
“SmartComment provides a tool for Wyoming DEQ that not only makes it easier for the public to comment, but also helps our staff better manage and respond to public comments.”
Keith Guille, Public Information Officer, Wyoming DEQ