Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is one of the most critical and complicated requirements impacting national parks today. The National Park Service (NPS) developed the Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system to structure, streamline, and track the compliance process for park projects involving natural and cultural resources. The NPS partnered with the Eppley Institute to create focused online training for the wide range of individuals who will use PEPC.
Since not every user of the PEPC system would need to develop an equal depth of understanding about how to use the system, the NPS partnered with Eppley to identify five distinct learning tracks for PEPC. The learning tracks include the folbwing components:
- Introduction to PEPC ― A foundational course, which enables students to receive a password to the PEPC system
- Managing Projects with PEPC ― Trains students about PEPC’s project management features
- Performing Compliance with PEPC ― Targeted toward compliance specialists
- PEPC Administrative Features ― Designed for PEPC Administrators at each park unit
- Public Comment and PEPC ― Teaches how to use the public comment feature of PEPC
The implementation of the PEPC system has been facilitated. Rather than having to travel to a training event, students in every NPS region can now receive formal system training via the Internet. Within six months of the release of the first PEPC course, seven hundred NPS employees had passed through these courses. But it is not merely that more students are now able to access training more easily, but that the training they are accessing is quality training; students report that the PEPC courses are some of the best developed for NPS systems.