Michigan pushes permits online


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Michigan officials unveiled today a plan to let businesses apply for permits online.

The Michigan Timely Application and Permit Service (MiTAPS) Web portal is intended to do what its name says: provide a way for businesses to find and apply for permits from any state agency at any time.

Within the portal, company officials can use a guided search to determine which permits they need. They must enter their company information only once and then the site uses it for any and all subsequent permit applications. In addition, company officials can pay permit fees online and monitor their applications' status through the portal or e-mail notifications at specific milestones during the process.

Online permit applications for businesses and citizens are a major service for many states.

The portal went live June 30 with three Web-based interactive permit applications from the Environmental Quality Department and links to 32 other applications from that department and the Labor and Economic Growth Department. Ninety users have already registered, according to officials. Registration is required step to use any of the interactive permit applications.

Officials from the two departments plan to place 10 more permits online next month. When it is fully populated, the site will hold up to 150 permits.

Allowing businesses to apply for the environmental permits online is also part of a two-year pilot program called Promoting Leadership in Environmental Decision-Making to Grow our Economy (PLEDGE). The initiative's goal is to issue permits within 100 days after businesses submit applications by reducing the review and turnaround time, officials said. The current timeframe for the process is 18 months.

"MiTAPS ensures that businesses know from the outset what permits they will need from the state, while the PLEDGE pilot program will help us ensure timely and environmentally sound air-quality permits for major manufacturing facilities in Michigan," said Steve Chester, director of the Environmental Quality Department.


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