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 2019, 21 exceedances were man-made and occurred in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and one occurred in Anchorage due to springtime road dust. The 23 naturally caused exceedances were due to a high wind event in the Mat-Su Valley and to Alaskan and Canadian wildfire smoke. Wildfire smoke caused 22 exceedances at sites in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Mat-Su Borough, Municipality of Anchorage, and in Juneau. 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.
The baseline year for this measure is FY2000 when 69% of rural homes were served by adequate sanitation systems. Compared to the 97% of households served in FY2020, this equates to a total increase of 28% over 20 years. The pace of progress has slowed in recent years as the cost of constructing centralized systems in unserved communities has escalated. 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. There was a one percent decrease in the number of homes reported as served between FY2012 and FY2013, and again between FY2015 and FY2016. These changes were not due to homes losing service but rather changes in the methodology for collecting housing data. VSW and partner organizations are transitioning to a map-based housing inventory tracking system, which provides more accurate housing data. It should be noted that this estimate excludes homes and communities currently deemed as "unserviceable" by federal funding agencies and includes homes in larger communities that are eligible for federal funding but ineligible for VSW funding.
|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.
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.
The Department acknowledges all facilities or vessels required to have an ODPCP represent a level of inherent risk, even if not identified as high risk. Auditing, inspecting, or testing of non-high risk facilities and their contingency plans is important to verify ongoing prevention and response readiness.
A single ODPCP can cover multiple facilities for the same operator. The performance measure tracks inspections at the ODPCP level and doesn't reflect inspections at multiple facilities under one plan or multiple inspections at a single facility during the fiscal year.
In FY2020 there were 127 regulated approved plan holders, two of which did not have a facility to inspect. Approved plan holders without any facility or operations were excluded for this performance metric. In FY2020, a total of 52 plan holders were classified as high risk and 73 plan holders were classified as non-high risk. The percentage of high risk plan holders for which an inspection or exercise was conducted decreased from 68.3 percent in FY2019, to 42.3 percent in FY2020. Oversight of non-high risk facilities was 19.2 percent, also a decrease from the prior year. Protective measures implemented as a result the COVID-19 pandemic significantly reduced drills/exercises and facility inspections planned for the last quarter of FY2020.
Current as of December 8, 2020