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Information Management


Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is responsible for conducting detailed inspections of all facilities that have underground storage tanks (USTs). Historically, the Tank Management Branch (TMB) conducted these inspections with a multi-page paper form. This information was then manually entered into a large web-based environmental information system (DEN), and deficiency letters were manually created by merging information from the paper form and DEN. The process was very complex, labor-intensive, and relied heavily on the handwritten inspection forms. To improve this process, the development of a new UST inspection application was proposed, with the following main requirements:

  • Provide electronic mobile forms and device to replace the paper inspection
  • Improve the DEN database to store new UST information
  • Automatic review and upload of the UST inspection data to DEN from the mobile device
  • Automatic generation of associated deficiencies based on inspection data
  • Automatic creation of citation letters, based on deficiency data
  • Tracking of citation letters.

The approach to designing and developing the new, versatile, robust application required the active participation of several key stakeholders including TMB management, senior tank inspectors, the DNREC Information Technology staff in charge of maintaining the DEN system, application developers and builders, and database administrators. EA lead the requirements gathering process by conducting a series of meetings with all stakeholders to fully define the initial requirements, review the specifications package, and observe actual field inspections. Additionally, EA developed a rapid deployment prototype of the proposed application and conducted in-depth follow-up meetings with the inspectors and Information Technology staff using the prototype to facilitate the meetings. The result of the process was the generation of detailed system specifications, fully describing the requirements and functionality of the new system and an implementation plan that was used as a road map for development and release of the final system.