Author: Laura J. Leonard
It’s all about location, location, location. The location of old landfills, underground storage tanks, brownfields projects, dry cleaners and Superfund sites – to name a few.
That’s why the Division of Waste Management developed a GIS-based application that consolidates all of the division’s sites into one easy-to-use, interactive map.
“If you know the address, you can find a wealth of information using this tool,” said Division Director Michael Scott. “It takes multiple databases and merges them into one, making access to public records easier and more efficient.”
The Site Locator Tool not only provides this information in a simple map format, but also has the capability to query, create reports, download, print maps and link to site-specific documents.
To access the Site Locator Tool, go to: https://ncdenr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=7dd59be2750b40bebebfa49fc383f688.
How does it work?
The tool, as it is commonly referred to, takes multiple databases and GIS maps found within the division, and combines them into one. There is a search box that allows people to use an address, name or id number to locate a site.
Once the site is found, people can view any records associated with it and zoom out to see surrounding sites regulated by the Division of Waste Management.
“This tool is unique in that it doesn’t just give people one piece of the puzzle. Not only can you see the site but you can also access records maintained for each site the division permits or regulates,” said Scott.
It used to take a great deal of time to find the records for a site that may be in the division’s systems for multiple reasons. A brownfield site could have been a dry-cleaners or a gas station with an underground storage tank in its history. With such a site, a person would have had to speak to multiple programs to find the information. Using this Site Locator Tool, a person can type in the address and get all of that information with a few clicks.
New Way of Doing Things
The Site Locator Tool is one of many innovative applications that the Department of Environmental Quality is integrating into its business model. Recently, the department received the Special Achievement in GIS award from geographic information system provider Earth Science Research Institute (ESRI) because of its groundbreaking application of mapping, data analytics and leadership in the field of environmental protection.
The department’s open data platform, for which it received the SAG award, also provides a warehouse of data and maps about water, waste, land, regulatory and remedial efforts managed by DEQ throughout North Carolina.