increase in illnesses from a particular area. The Department of Environmental Protection can quickly assess the environmental status of a certain area through the FMF, which contains information on air, land and water pollution sources. Similarly, if the department suspects a problem, data contained in the FMF provides the department with a quick way to analyze a facility's environmental compliance and target potential violators for inspections. Moreover, EPICS identifies, tracks, and monitors the use of toxic chemicals within the state. This feature allows the department to pinpoint problem areas and also make recommendations to companies about alternative non-toxic chemical substitutions. The department expanded the Toxic Use Reduction subsystem to track the total volume of toxic chemicals within the state, as well as the manner in which the chemicals are transported. The Department of Environmental Protection is extremely satisfied with the EPICS system. Once the department had a system that complemented the organizational framework, the department experienced a large improvement in productivity through more efficient and streamlined business processes as well as better customer service. Data Manager Douglas Priest pointed out that "just having the information available at a moment's notice is a major savings." EPICS also presents the opportunity to expand into other areas. The department believes that public access may become an important issue in the near future. Moreover, the department highly values EPICS based on two key issues: revenue generation and environmental reaction and protection. According to Victoria Phillips, fees coordinator for EPICS, the automated billing module for permit fees raised $7 million in 1994. The fees are used to hire inspectors and make additions to the system. Skip Russell, a senior systems analyst with the department noted that "without the possibility of fee generation, the EPICS system would have died. Fee generation allows continued development of the system." Secondly, through the facility master file, EPICS has dramatically improved the department's response to environmental inquiries or problems and enforcement of violators. Thus, these two factors have made EPICS an effective method of improving the state's protection of the environment.
Overcoming Resistance The department experienced resistance to EPICS at the beginning of the project. However, after the inspectors realized the tremendous benefits and power of the system, EPICS became very favorably viewed by the entire department. As the department adds more modules to the system, an increase in technical personnel will be required to maintain the system. In the near future, the department plans to implement new components to EPICS to enhance the power of such a comprehensive database with other available technologies. In particular, the department is planning to integrate EPICS with a Geographic Information System on which the environmental data can be layered in a mapped format. The department is also interested in implementing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to more reliably transmit and receive data from other environmental databases, namely the U.S. EPA, as well as data from the companies that are being regulated. On a smaller scale the department has already increased the system's reporting features through a reporting tool that allows end-users to query and analyze data without having to go through the MIS group. The department is also evaluating the implementation of a GUI front end. These additions, particularly GIS and EDI, will have an enormous impact on the department. Both GIS and EDI will increase the functionality of the system and reduce administrative costs within the department and EOEA. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs was named winner of the 1994 Computerworld Smithsonian award for the EPICS project. The award recognizes the technology industry's most creative and innovative uses of information technology that benefit a wide spectrum of society.