Managing Projects & Permits

27 Apr
Permit Tracking

Environment / Technology Enabled Business Solutions

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How many permits does your operating system (e.g., facilities, production, storage, transportation, distribution) have? What kinds of requirements are associated with each of those permits? Who is responsible for making sure requirements are fulfilled? Are there key/critical dates? How many contractors/vendors do you have carrying out activities pertaining to the many diverse permit requirements? How do you manage all that information? And, importantly, how do you verify compliance?

Depending on the breadth and locations of your operations, managing permits and their associated requirements and due dates without a centralized system in place can be an insurmountable challenge. This was certainly true for a large transportation company managing over 3,600 permits for over 1,600 projects across more than 20 states. Finding a better way to track and manage permits wasn’t just a matter of convenience, it was a necessity.

Web-based Tracking System

After a series of washout incidents, the company’s Engineering Department stepped up its efforts to develop a program to ensure engineering and maintenance activities were meeting applicable construction and environmental permit requirements. With so many activities, responsible parties, and deadlines, the Department retained Kestrel Tellevate LLC (KTL) to develop a web-based project tracking system to help:

  • Track permit requirements and construction restriction timeframes
  • Produce project-specific All Permits Issued (API) documents
  • Track post-activity mitigation requirements
  • Manage change information
  • Report actual-to-budget performance

While the Engineering Department remains responsible for the permitting activities associated with all construction, maintenance, and emergency response activities, KTL’s Permit Tracking System (PTS) offers a cloud-based project management solution to facilitate permit tracking across a variety of data points.

How It Works

The PTS serves as a communication conduit by providing a standardized approach to project/permit activity tracking, while distributing periodic, tailored reports that allow the Engineering Department to manage project activities, as needed. Integrating with internal databases, PTS provides a means to supplement project data with ongoing contractor/consultant input. This enables comprehensive program oversight on the timeliness of the permitting effort and project details, which, in turn, offers preemptive visibility on issues that may affect project construction and permit compliance.

In short, PTS allows the company to:

  • Catalog and track permits in one database
  • Document and track project conditions, impacts, construction timeframe restrictions, sensitive resources, etc.
  • Send and receive notifications of permits about to expire
  • Coordinate and communicate with project contractors
  • Establish accountability and a standardized approach for reporting and performance measurement
  • Effectively manage project process from permitting through handover to construction
  • Monitor financial performance

Business Benefits

The Engineering Department has managed nearly 1,600 projects with more than 3,600 associated permits through PTS. Permits in the system include 404 (most common), 401, Floodplain, NESHAPS, FAA, 402, Air, Coast, Air Emissions, 408 Levee, Coast Guard Bridge, Heritage Tree, Tank, Well, Excavated Materials, NPDES, and others.

With this many projects and permits being managed through a consolidated system, PTS is providing many business benefits, including the following:

  • Improved program efficiency, consistency, and coherence by fostering a standardized approach to all permitting data management and input by third-party users
  • Customized, automated reporting that allows for enhanced progress monitoring, project accountability, and detailed oversight
  • Flexible, cloud-based approach to accommodate a variety of program management aspects into a single tool for real-time, comprehensive visibility
  • Sole repository for all project management data to help foster communication and coordination both internally and with contractors/consultants
  • Improved permit compliance assurance reliability

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