Staying compliant with environmental regulatory limits requires the regulated community to manage large datasets efficiently and timely. Whether managed internally or outsourced, the regulated entities are liable for any exceedances and subsequent penalties. The following three steps can be used to set up an automated tracking system and ensure compliant operations with the help of EQuIS.
1. Build a library of regulatory limit comparisons
Managing various permits and regulations can be performed utilizing a centralized and standardized system to keep track of all applicable limits while being flexible enough to adapt to a changing regulatory landscape. EQuIS allows you to store all your regulatory limits in one secure centralized database for easy comparisons and reporting.
The first step is the identification of all applicable standards in your organization. Once all these values and their metadata are collected, you can upload them to your EQuIS database. Typical metadata may include the following:
– Start and end dates
– Permit number(s)
– The matrix that the action level applies to
– Start and end depths (for soil data)
– Analytical methods
A simple Microsoft Excel file can be used to import any set of limits (action levels) automatically. We recommend to group action levels to identify applicable authorities, programs, or permits. You may also want to store the documents that are relevant for any action level in your central database. This way they will be easily accessible.
Centralized Management of Action Levels in EQuIS
2. Automate reporting with alerts
Once a library of action levels is established, you can check all laboratory and field data against these values. EQuIS includes a library of reports that allow for easy comparison of results with any action level. Common reporting outputs are available out of the box. Users can also utilize the Crosstab features to create their own reports.
Any report in EQuIS can be configured to report automatically as an alert in the form of an email. These automated notifications can be set to a schedule (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly) or for whenever new data is uploaded. Best of all, alerts can be set to identify an exceedance in real time. As soon as new field or lab data enters the system, any exceedance will be automatically identified and the notification will be delivered by email to a defined list of recipients.
A pre-formatted report highlighting exceedances in orange
3. Stay in control with monitoring dashboards
Managing all environmental data with the respective regulatory limits in one central database allows data managers to review all data in user-friendly web dashboards. EQuIS Enterprise supports all modern web browsers and includes a flexible permission model to give any user access to powerful reporting and visualization tools. You can also choose to give external users access to certain datasets to simplify communication with consultants and other external stakeholders.
The automated tracking of results against regulatory limits is mainly performed with two widget types, which update automatically as soon as a new dataset is uploaded to the EQuIS database.
Traffic Light Widgets: These widgets check a set of results against specific action levels and highlight exceedances in a color coding. Green values usually indicate results that are less than the regulatory limit, while red or yellow icons indicate exceedances.
Time Series Chart Widgets: Plotting results and action levels on time series charts provides an uncomplicated way to keep track of trends and exceedances. Including warning levels allows the monitoring team to stay ahead of the trend by identifying critical values before the regulatory limit is exceeded.
EQuIS Dashboard with Charts and Traffic Light Widgets