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Process Improvement Initiative

In January 2011, the Air Quality Department initiated a comprehensive assessment of our operations to identify needed improvements. These Process Improvement efforts include both staff and stakeholders with the focus on streamlining internal processes and enhancing customer service. By June 2011, both the Permitting and Compliance Divisions’ internal processes were reviewed and over 280 issues were identified along with recommended solutions and schedules. To date, 70% of these recommended improvements have been implemented, with others pending. In April 2012, we completed an extensive review of our Planning and Analysis processes where a total of 37 opportunities were identified with 43% of these implemented. Our Asbestos and Performance Test Units were examined in early 2013 and a total of 60 issues were identified. To date 64% of the recommendations have been fully implemented. Currently, we are conducting a Process Improvement effort which focuses on improving our compliance efforts with Title V permits. Some key process improvements that have been successfully implemented include:

Key Process Improvements

  • Streamlined Dust Permit from 43 pages to a 5-page user-friendly “Turbo Tax™” form

  • Implemented online Subcontractor registration

  • Implemented online permit submittals and payments for some permits, others are “in the works”

  • Reduced dust permit processing time from 12 days to same day

  • Opened additional permit counters at Central Office and at the City of Phoenix for permit intake

  • Developed the county’s first app which allows for mobile alerts and complaint submittal (over 10,000 downloads to date)

  • Upgraded “real time” air quality data on the web (used to be hourly)

  • Established Rapid Response Program to alert stakeholders and quickly respond to high pollution at monitors

  • Established Compliance Inspection “Zone Model” to improve inspection and consistency and to reduce travel costs

  • Partnered with stakeholders to develop dust handbooks for Rules 310 & 316

  • Established bi-monthly Permitting Assistance open houses

  • Re-activated the Small Business Assistance program and assisted 917 individuals in CY 2013

  • Streamlined Performance Testing to allow electronic submittal and eliminated a 3-year review backlog

  • Re-established Air Quality Annual Conference

The following documents identify the current status of our process improvement efforts. The status is updated quarterly:

All of our Process Improvement Teams are comprised of both internal staff and stakeholders. To date 26 stakeholders have actively participated in the efforts and their perspectives have significantly contributed to a better and more efficient department. However, our work is not done. The department is committed to improving our operations and will continue to invite stakeholders to help us streamline the way we conduct our business. Your thoughts on how we can do better in any area of our operation are welcomed. If you have an idea or recommendation, please contact us.