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Pennsylvania
Bureau of Air Quality

Small Business Assistance

Small Business Assistance Program

Complying with environmental regulations can be burdensome, especially for small businesses. Recognizing this, DEP created the Small Business Assistance Program. This program assists small businesses with regulatory compliance, provides information about cost saving pollution prevention practices, and ensures that small business are considered when new regulations are developed.

  • Small Business Advantage Grant Program
    The program provides 50 percent matching grants, up to a maximum of $9,500 to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes.  Eligible applications will be considered for funding until program funds have been exhausted. The program is typically offered once per year. Additional information can be found on the Small Business Ombudsman Office website. Applications are also available by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, by phone at (717) 783-8411 or by email at epadvantagegrant@pa.gov.
  • Small Business Pollution Prevention Assistance Account (PPAA) Loan Program
    PPAA provides low interest loans to small businesses undertaking projects (located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) that reduce waste, pollution or energy use. Loans will be used to fund 75 percent of the total eligible project cost, up to a maximum of $100,000. Small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. The loan interest rate is 2% and has a maximum term of 10 years. This funding can help small businesses comply with environmental regulations while receiving the economic benefits of preventing pollution and using energy more efficiently. Visit the PPAA Loan website for additional information.
  • Emerging Technology Applications Center
    The Emerging Technologies Applications Center (ETAC) at Northampton Community College, in Bethlehem, PA, is working together with the DEP to help small and midsize Pennsylvania businesses achieve and maintain compliance with the air quality regulations. Services include technological assessment (1st consultation free), laboratory analysis, process analysis and auditing, and technical training and course development. For more information, contact ETAC at 610-861-5081 or by email at info@etctr.com.

EMAP

In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) is providing free and confidential environmental assistance services to small businesses. This partnership replaces Envirohelp. EMAP can be contacted at 877-ASK EMAP (877-275-3627) or visit their website at www.askemap.org.

Small Business Ombudsman

The Small Business Ombudsman provides free confidential environmental assistance to businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees. By law, the Ombudsman cannot reveal the identity of any small business that contacts the Office without their permission. All contacts are kept strictly confidential. The following are some of the services that the Ombudsman provides:

  • Serves as the primary advocate for small business within the DEP.
  • Assists small businesses in realizing potential cost savings of pollution prevention versus pollution control.
  • Serves as the DEP spokesperson to the small business community.
  • Reviews pending regulations and ensures that the impact on small businesses is considered.
  • Investigates complaints from small businesses about DEP
  • Provides confidential assistance to small businesses within the Commonwealth needing help with environmental issues.

Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee

Go to the Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee web site. Get the following information on the committee:

  • Schedule of meetings.
  • Minutes of previous meetings.
  • Agendas and handouts.
  • Membership list.

Helpful Information

  • PennSTAR Project Final Report
    The Pennsylvania Spray Technique Analysis and Research (PennSTAR) program was designed to provide demonstrations to auto body technicians and refinishers in the field of collision repair to help reduce the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC ’s) and Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP’s) being released into the atmosphere and at the same time reduce costs to collision repair facilities.
  • U.S. Business Advisor
    A one-stop electronic link to all the information and services that the U.S government provides to the business community.
  • DEP Technology Clearinghouse
    This page and its related links are maintained to provide you with assistance and information about research, development, funding, implementation, and marketing of innovative technologies.

For more information on the Small Business Assistance Program call 717-787-7019 or email ra-epair@pa.gov