Online Air Permitting Aloft in N.J.

Online Air Permitting Aloft in N.J. <CR>Subtitle:

By Nick Wakeman, Staff Writer

APRIL 25 ? The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, with some help from American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., has launched an online permitting and payment process for the 26,000 businesses in New Jersey to apply for air permits.

The site automates the permitting process and slashes the process from six weeks to six minutes, according to New Jersey officials.

Large businesses, such as pharmaceutical and petrochemical manufacturers, as well as smaller companies, such as gas stations, are required to file for "air general permits," which regulate their emissions into the air.

"With this project we are able to reduce paperwork, shorten approval times, encourage compliance and refocus our staff on issues that have a greater environmental benefit," said Bob Shinn, commissioner of the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection. "We also anticipate expanding our use of interactive permitting and mapping applications on the Internet to better serve both the residents of New Jersey and our business community."

AMS helped New Jersey simplify its permitting process and then helped the state take it online, state officials said.

The state has plans to expand the Web-based processes to include the online renewal of air permits, electronic reporting of excess air emissions reports, the submittal of additional types of general air permits, the submittal of annual Right-to-Know surveys and registrations for underground storage tanks.

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