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Four Years On DEEP Continues to Build on 20BY20 Initiative

New Online Submission Process for Natural Diversity Database Reviews and New Online Permitting Dashboards Demonstrate Continued Commitment To Make DEEP’s Regulatory Processes More Efficient and Transparent

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced today a suite of new online services and tools that continue the progress of DEEP’s “20BY20 Initiative,” a list of 20 measurable process improvements aimed at increasing predictability, efficiency, and transparency of DEEP’s regulatory processes. Though the initiative formally concluded at the end of 2020, it laid the foundation for process improvements the agency continues to make, including the new web-based tools announced today.

Requests for Natural Diversity Database (NDDB) reviews may now be submitted online, via DEEP’s ezFile website. Additionally, new regulatory and permitting dashboard webpages that track the progress of and provide transparency into permit processing, permit assistance, and rulemaking are now live. These improvements continue to make DEEP a more responsive agency, with improved customer service and streamlined processes. These tools deliver on the following 20BY20 goals:

  • Goal #1: Make Permitting Timeframes More Transparent
  • Goal #3: Reduce Number of Legacy Permit Applications Pending
  • Goal #9: Simplify Natural Diversity Database Determinations
  • Goal #15: Develop Predictable Regulation Adoption Timeline
  • Goal #16: Increase Stakeholder Engagement in Process Improvement Efforts

“Achieving the goals identified through our 20BY20 Initiative to make the agency more nimble, transparent, and responsive continue to be a priority for us at DEEP, and I’m pleased to share these latest examples of our progress and continued commitment,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “The Natural Diversity Database will streamline the review process without compromising our ability to protect Connecticut’s natural heritage, and our new web-based dashboards are the direct result of responding to advice from DEEP stakeholders, such as permit applicants and members of the public, who have experience engaging with the agency’s regulatory processes.”  

The new NDDB online process will more easily allow applicants to submit project information and create project maps directly with the ezFile website. A major improvement in this new tool is that for a subset of routine requests, the applicant will automatically receive standardized Best Management Practices that directly responds to their inquiry.

“This new program will maintain environmental protections and allow DEEP biologists to focus on the most important projects that require field work or additional information, while getting many routine inquiries answered quickly and automatically,” said Commissioner Dykes. “As with all of our good government goals in this effort, setting clear and transparent expectations for business and residents smooths the process for everyone.”

The new dashboards institutionalize the best practices DEEP has developed over the past several years in the areas of:

“These new dashboards provide a better window into DEEP’s regulatory processes,” Commissioner Dykes said. “They will help stakeholders better understand process and timeframes, as well as help our agency manage staff resources. The dashboards also help to make applicants aware of customer support services available to them, and how to participate in rulemaking processes.”

One of the most successful 20BY20 initiatives includes the establishment of a Client Concierge Service, which provides a single point of contact for applicants and interested stakeholders to obtain pre-application assistance, facilitate communication between applicants and permit programs, guide projects through complex permitting processes, and conduct outreach to interested and affected stakeholders. DEEP encourages applicants and interested stakeholders to take advantage of these services by visiting the Client Concierge Permitting Assistance website, or contacting

More on the NDDB

DEEP’s Natural Diversity Data Base program performs hundreds of environmental reviews each year to determine the impact of proposed development projects on state-listed species and help landowners conserve the state’s biodiversity. State agencies are required to ensure that any activity authorized, funded, or performed by a state agency does not threaten the continued existence of endangered or threatened species. Other applicants for certain state and local permits may also be required to consult with the NDDB as part of the permit process. The NDDB Request for Review process is designed to assist in complying with the Connecticut Endangered Species Act but is not a substitute for actual on-site surveys that may be required for environmental impact assessment. DEEP biologists will provide recommendations for avoiding impacts to state-listed species. More information can be found on the DEEP website at

More on 20BY20

The 20BY20 initiative was a process launched in June 2019 by DEEP to improve the transparency, predictability and efficiency of the agency’s regulatory processes across 20 targeted areas by the end of 2020. By the end of 2020, and despite the challenges presented by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency completed nearly 80% of its goals. The department made great strides in many areas, including making permitting timeframes more transparent, launching a permit concierge service and strengthening permit assistance, reducing the number of legacy permit applications pending, finalizing important changes to Remediation Standards Regulations and Environmental Use Restrictions, accelerating integration of new information technology platforms, increasing transparency/availability of DEEP’s vast swaths of data, and much more. DEEP remains committed to continued progress in the improvement areas identified through 20BY20 and will work to identify new ways for the department to better fulfill its mission and serve the public. For more information on 20BY20, go here: 20BY20 (

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