Comprehensive Environmental Information – Accessible Anywhere, Anytime.
All that’s needed is a browser
ERIMS is a web-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, accessible via the Internet to anyone (with proper credentials), anywhere, anytime. As a SaaS offering, ERIMS requires no 3rd party software other than a browser. It is always available, there are no maintenance or upgrade fees, and it does not require support from your corporate IT staff. (Why SaaS? Click here for more information on the ROI of SaaS offerings.)
Inputs and outputs
Designed to streamline the process of getting data into useful form, ERIMS software can import EDD (electronic data deliverables) generated by laboratories and field teams, and provides the means for manual entry of data that cannot be easily produced as an electronic file. Additionally, the ERIMS team has the ability to parse and convert streaming data into useful form.
No two organizations, even from the same industry, have the same environmental objectives. Nor do they have the same sources of data or reporting requirements. ERIMS is flexible by design to provide the greatest utility to our clients. Though ERIMS provides a number of standard output formats for data review, analysis, and reporting, components and reports can be easily customized to meet our clients’ specific needs.
Standard outputs include:
- Cross tab reports for the different modules (GHG reporting, analytical, groundwater, flow and more)
- Bar, pie and line graphs
- Trend and time-series analysis
- Representative (online) GIS maps
- DMRs (discharge monitoring reports)
- Sampling program status
- Permit status
- Analytical results
- Action items
- Exports to Excel or PDF files
ERIMS is often used to produce compliance reports for submittal to regulatory agencies as electronic files or documents that can be attached to emails or printed as hardcopy. Our clients rave about ERIMS’ ability to send email notifications to responsible parties involved in the review of reports. Draft versions of the reports produced by the permitting software can be included with the email, and after review, with one mouse click, a report can be deemed “final”, have an electronic signature applied, and approved for submittal.
Environmental data within ERIMS also can be used for internal reports. Whether you have a single facility or hundreds of locations, your environmental data can be used to help report on compliance, manage risk, and to support decisions. With the Dashboard feature on top of the environmental management software, executives can leverage this information at their fingertips in a variety of formats.
When is a module not a component?
ERIMS is a web-based system comprised of components which address the many similar and dissimilar environmental information management and reporting needs of organizations in the manufacturing, mining, energy, insurance, real estate and environmental industries, among others. This component-based design provides for quicker implementations and greater flexibility in addressing unique needs of our clients. It also allows for new components to be developed and added to the system as new requirements are identified.
The dictionary tells us (see the sidebar definitions) that a module is a “separable component”, and a component is “a constituent part”. Why make the distinction? ERIMS comes complete; it comes with all of the components described further in this section. Many software packages are sold modularly, not as a complete system, so pricing is dependent upon the modules selected. And oh, by the way, some of the modules may require other modules or 3rd-party software. We don’t play that game; ERIMS is a complete solution and our clients can utilize as many or as few of the components as they require.
The Facility component is used to group related data. A Facility within ERIMS can be a single company location or facility, such as a mine or factory, but it can also be defined as a production line, a series of wells, or a group of equipment. Clients usually establish one or more Facilities underneath the Company (described within this section).
Users select a Facility following login and once selected, the user is able to review only data related to that specific Facility. The Facilities and functionality available to the user are dependent on their specific role and rights.
End-users are limited to accessing only their Company’s information. Each client can manage their users’ rights and create groups to control access to specific information and functionality. All components have READ (Read, Edit, Add, Delete) permissions to control the activities each end-user is allowed to perform.
Each client has their own dedicated, secure database to ensure complete separation of client-specific information. We use high availability disaster recovery practices and databases are continuously backed up as an additional fail safe for data integrity.
The EPA Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHG MRR) has triggered much activity across a broad range of industries. In order to comply with the mandatory reporting rule, ERIMS takes intense data collection and reporting requirements, and simplifies them into a concise tool enabled package. Thanks to automation of e-GRRT reporting, the EPA’s electronic submittal tool, GHG MRR is made simple and straight forward.
Reporting can be performed from several areas and include preformatted reports for regulators, facility- and company-wide reports, cross-tab reports, as well as graphs, charts, maps, and trend analysis reports. ERIMS can export reports to several file formats such as Excel, Word, PDF, CSV, text, etc.
Draft reports for regulators can be generated in the specified format and routed via email to the appropriate personnel for review and approval. Upon approval, an electronic signature is automatically applied to the finalized documents for submittal to these agencies.
The Dashboard represents high-level summary reports on one screen. This component provides quick access to specific information without having to navigate through the system. Usually displayed as graphs and tables, these reports may include time series analyses or seasonal fluctuations of groundwater elevations or flow rates. Report panes can be expanded for closer analysis, printing and exporting.
The Permits component manages information related to restrictions imposed by regulatory agencies. ERIMS handles different types of permits, including construction, operation, and discharge. Permit requirements, such as dates, limitations, parameters of interest, and sampling frequency are associated with specific Mapsites (defined within this section). Renewal dates, revisions, comments, and documents associated with a given permit are also tracked within the system.
Compliance is a component directly related to Permits. Each Permit has a specific set of requirements defined by regulatory agencies. Environmental permits identify locations requiring sampling, the frequency of sampling, and parameters of interest. The Compliance component provides for the configuration of specific parameters, acceptable ranges, and frequency of monitoring for each sampling location (i.e., Mapsite). The parameters can be flow readings, groundwater elevations, chemical analysis of water, etc.
The Notice of Violation (NOV) component allows clients to track specific regulatory violations and the required actions, penalties, fines, settlements, legal action and extensions related to them. Action Items can then be setup to designate a specific date for closure of item and send email notification to the individual assigned the task to ensure required action is taken.
The Notifications component allows certain end-users to be automatically notified by email for specific reasons, including receipt of data, upload issues, and instances of non-compliance or regulatory exceedances. As noted under the Notice of Violation component, Action Items can be configured with designated dates for closure of item and send email notification to the responsible party to ensure that the required action is taken.
Flow covers a broad range of flowing features such as treatment plant effluent or influent, containment pound discharges, extraction or injection wells, streams, etc. For instantaneous flows, a single value from a meter is usually used. For stream cross-sectional measurements, ERIMS uses a complex algorithm to automatically calculate flow volume based on the width, depth and velocity of each measured segment of a stream.
Sample Results include parameters measured in the field and analyses performed by laboratories, regardless of the media sampled — air, soil gas, water, soil, biological or construction material corings, etc. Results can be manually entered, but are usually imported in the system via EDDs (Electronic Data Deliverables). ERIMS conducts verification of results data as it is loaded into the system and generates upload status reports that can be routed to the appropriate personnel via email.
Mapsites are locations and are used to identify any feature consisting of northing and easting coordinates and elevation. Mapsites can be classified as outfalls, wells, boreholes, stream points, air sampling devices, surface water sampling points, equipment, buildings, data loggers, etc. Each Mapsite can have an unlimited number of aliases since more than one identifier may be used for the same point/location.
Field activities are classified as Visits and identify the specific Mapsites visited and work conducted. Examples of field activities include: stream flow measurements, sample collection, groundwater measurements, operation and maintenance, equipment replacement, or areas of interest (AOIs) investigations. Information typically recorded in field log books, such as the field crew members, weather, comments, etc. can be input into the system. Scanned copies of the log pages can be uploaded and stored with a particular Visit including photos. Chain-of-Custody forms and sample bottle labels can be generated from the Visit component.
Areas of Interests (AOIs) are features that are routinely monitored, such as surface fractures, land slumping, heaving, or pooling water. AOIs can be a point with one set of coordinates or a line consisting of several sets of coordinates. They can be displayed within ERIMS on integrated GIS (geographic information system) maps with automatic calculations of relevant lengths and distances.
The Well component is used to record and track groundwater elevations. When the depth-to-water is input, the groundwater elevation is automatically calculated. Reports, graphs, and charts can be generated to evaluate groundwater elevation trends based on seasonal fluctuation or company activities. ERIMS also stores well construction and lithological data used to produce bore logs.
The Survey Tool component is used to capture form-based information and can be tailored to meet our clients’ specific needs, such as equipment inventories, maintenance logs, or environmental audits. As with other components, this information can be manually entered or emailed to the system as electronic files for uploading.
The Waste Management component allows for the classification and manifesting of materials for storage and shipping. Specific functionality includes waste classification, container specification and labeling, material quantity and weight summaries, storage location, manifest generation and shipment tracking. Reports can be generated for waste type and quantities, container type and labels, storage location, and shipping status.
Building Management component is used to manage asbestos surveys, real estate management, and building envelope inspections. Asbestos surveys encompass photos, sampling, field forms and abatement. Real estate management covers building and property inventories, leases, appraisals, etc. Building inspections entail roofing, pavement, electrical, security systems, and overall building condition assessments.
For mining clients, the Mine Production component tracks mining progress and is used to plan required field activities. As mining proceeds, the distance mined is recorded within ERIMS and the integrated GIS map mine panel movement layer is automatically updated for visual verification.