Hitting the Accelerator: How COVID-19 Forced Durham County into Electronic Solutions

Ryan D. Eaves, PE, CFM, CPESC

Durham County's Stormwater and Erosion Control Program used paper files for projects, accepted and reviewed paper plans, filled filing cabinets with all the paper documents accompanying a land disturbance permit. COVID-19 and a malware attack on the County's servers changed all of that. This presentation will discuss how those events hit the gas on Durham County's move to electronic solutions to the plethora of paper and how they have, or haven’t, improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Evaluate electronic solutions to permitting, plan review, and inspection of land disturbing activity.
  • Look at new approaches to old problems.
  • Understand some of the impacts COVID-19 had on permitting agencies.

Presented by Ryan D. Eaves, PE, CFM, CPESC – Stormwater and Erosion Control Division Manager, Durham County Engineering

Ryan D. Eaves is the Stormwater and Erosion Control Division Manager for Durham County in Durham, North Carolina. With Durham County adding an average of 25 people per day, development has exploded. Ryan’s Division, as the land disturbance permitting agency, is a key cog in the construction of new homes, offices, and research facilities. Prior to his work with Durham County, Ryan worked as the Stormwater Management Coordinator for Athens-Clarke County, in Athens, Georgia. There he coordinated the County’s NPDES Phase II Permit activities and oversaw its Watershed Management Program. A native of Athens, Ryan holds a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science from Virginia Tech and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Ryan is a Licensed Professional Engineer, Certified Floodplain Manager and Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control.