Key Performance Indicators
Protect human health and the environment. AS 46.03.010, AS 44.46.020
Key Performance Indicators
- Target: All water facility, wastewater discharge, and air quality permit-holders are current and in compliance with permit requirements.
- Target: 100% of high risk and 20% of non-high risk contingency plan holders are inspected or evaluated for oil discharge prevention annually.
|1: Protecting Human Health|
Target #2: Increase the number and types of tests performed to support public health assessments.
All sample submissions to the Laboratory are entered into the LIMS, labeled with unique identification numbers, and distributed to staff for processing and analysis. Submission turnaround time (TAT) varies based on customer need, project parameters, and workload balancing. The on-time completion of work orders represents the timeliness of final result delivery.
In FY2020, the laboratory had nine months of 100% on-time reporting. The lowest month was 97.6%. Although there are more tests completed in FY2020 than FY2019, much of the increase comes from internal projects. The marked increase in on-time delivery spanning FY2016 to FY2018 is the result of two factors: first, the number of processes in-house has decreased, improving the ability to complete sampling requests, and secondly the department identified an information technology learning curve relating to accurately capturing performance data. When the LIMS was implemented in FY2012, TAT work order processing data was used for trending, however, accuracy of the data fell out of focus due to operational demands. In anticipation of LIMS data availability for future budget years the laboratory instituted process controls ensuring the accuracy of data for targeted performance metrics. Implementation of this performance measure in FY2020 reflects the department's ability to better identify, target, and track EHL throughput annually.
Target #3: No days when air is unhealthy for sensitive groups.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has been collecting ambient air data in the most populated communities around the state for over 25 years. Air monitoring ensures compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards designed to protect public health. The EPA sets health-based standards for particulate matter and gaseous pollutants. In the state, the primary pollutants of concern are particulate matter and carbon monoxide (CO). Violations of the standards occur when the concentration of air pollution particulates rise above the defined limit as a result of natural events and/or emissions from man-made sources. Natural sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution include smoke from wildfires, while coarse particulate matter (PM10) pollution includes ash from volcanic eruption or windblown dust from gravel bars. Man-made PM2.5 pollution is often the byproduct of combustion processes, including home heating emissions such as from wood stoves, and diesel and gas vehicle emissions. Man-made PM10 pollution in Alaska is frequently produced by road dust from gravel roads and road sanding materials.
The chart above shows the number of days the air quality was deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly, and people with lung or heart diseases. The increased numbers in 2012 and beyond is due to the installation of the North Pole monitoring site. In 2020, 30 exceedances occurred in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, one occurred in the City and Borough of Juneau, and one occurred in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. All 32 of these exceedances were man-made, due to winter-time surface inversions trapping wood smoke and industry pollution near the surface. Additionally, smoke from fireworks contributed to the exceedances seen on December 31, 2020 in Fairbanks and Juneau. There were no naturally caused exceedances in 2020 in Alaska. Since 2000, no violations of the CO standards have been recorded.
The State is currently working with the Fairbanks North Star and the Matanuska Susitna Boroughs to evaluate the extent of the pollution problem and to tailor strategies aimed at eliminating the fine-particulate problem. More
information about the Department's air monitoring projects throughout the state can be found at http://www.dec.alaska.gov/air/.
Target #4: All serviceable rural Alaska homes are served by safe and sustainable sanitation facilities.
Safe and Sustainable Sanitation Facilities in Rural Alaska
Since the baseline year of 2015, three of the 34 unserved communities have received service and are no longer considered unserved. Additionally, six communities are currently funded for service, with projects in various stages of design and construction. The remaining unserved homes represent approximately three percent of all year-round occupied, serviceable homes in rural Alaska. The pace of progress has slowed in recent years as the cost of constructing centralized systems in unserved communities has escalated and the remaining unserved communities pose the greatest challenges to serve in terms of site conditions, capital costs, and local operational capacity. Additionally, an increasing share of total available funding has been needed in recent years to pay for necessary upgrades to existing water and sewer systems, making less funds available for constructing systems that will provide first-time service to homes.
|2: Protecting the Environment|
Target #1: All water facility, wastewater discharge, and air quality permit-holders are current and in compliance with permit requirements.
For the water supply system operator certification program, which ensures operators have the qualifications necessary to meet the responsibility of safeguarding public health, a compliance rate of 81% was achieved in FY2020.
The water discharge program issues permits for domestic wastewater, seafood processing, fish hatcheries, mines, oil and gas facilities, and log-transfer facilities. The department is in the process of taking over responsibility for these permits from the EPA, and while compliance is currently 78%, that rate is expected to fluctuate .
The air quality permit program requires major and some minor stationary sources' compliance be tracked. Under federal compliance reporting, status reverts to "unknown" if compliance is not evaluated in the past two years for major sources or five years for minor sources. These sources are assumed to be in compliance for the purposes of this measure as the majority of the sources are minor sources. In FY2020, 94% were compliant.
Target #2: 100% of high risk and 20% of non-high risk contingency plan holders are inspected or evaluated for oil discharge prevention annually.
The department acknowledges all facilities or vessels required to have an ODPCP represent a level of inherent risk to the environment and public health in Alaska. For this performance measure, ODPCPs are categorized as High Risk and Non-high Risk. Facilities and vessels designated as High Risk in the state include: those with new contingency plans; exploration, production, and refinery facilities; those with spills over 50 gallons; those with formal enforcement actions based on operations violations; and those that would have significant impacts to human health or the environment if there were a failure. All ODPCPs that do not meet the above criteria are categorized as Non-high Risk. The auditing, inspecting, or testing of the Non-high Risk facilities and their contingency plans is also important and contributes to ongoing prevention and response readiness.
This performance measure tracks inspections at the ODPCP level and doesn't capture all prevention efforts because a single ODPCP can cover multiple facilities for the same operator. Therefore, the performance measure doesn't reflect inspections at multiple facilities under one plan or multiple inspections at a single facility during the fiscal year.
During FY2021 there were 126 regulated, approved ODPCP holders operational in Alaska. Of these 46 plan holders were classified as High Risk and 80 plan holders were classified as Non-high Risk. For High Risk ODPCPs, 13% of the plans had either an inspection or an exercise and for Non-high Risk 18.8% of the plans had either an inspection or an exercise during the reporting period. The results for this performance measure were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic during FY2021. Beginning in March 2020 and throughout FY2021, the department implemented measures to protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Spill Prevention and Response issued a COVID-19 Caused Non-Compliance Concerns, No Action Assurance Memorandum which outlined the process for industry to defer industry planned drills and exercises and to submit deferral requests for internal and external tank and associated facility oil piping inspections. The reduced physical field presence afforded the program an opportunity to develop and focus on virtual inspections, exercises, and meeting procedures, provide training to staff, and review program organization to identify efficiencies in both process and practice. In-person events were minimized during FY2021, including limiting spill response field work to essential visits and canceling most in person department-led facility inspections.
Current as of December 16, 2021