Environmental regulatory compliance is a concern for many small businesses. Whether you are an existing business, or just getting started, it is very important for you to determine what regulations you are subject to, and what you need to do to stay in compliance.
But with today's complex and ever-changing environmental regulations, it's difficult to stay on top of it all, especially when you have so many priorities and often only limited resources to devote to any one of them.
EMAP offers free, one-on-one, confidential assistance to help small business owners understand and comply with the environmental rules and regulations specific to their business.
Important regulatory topics for small business include:
Most of these regulations have their roots in Federal legislation; then each state has the ability to either incorporate the Federal law directly, or modify it to make it more stringent. So it's best to be familiar with the legislation specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
It may be helpful for small businesses to review the Environmental Regulatory Process in Pennsylvania to gain a better understanding of how environmental laws in Pennsylvania come to be.
Who is Regulated?
Basically, if your business operations discharge anything to the land, air or water, you may be subject to DEP regulation and you may need a permit. This can include things that aren't immediately obvious. For example, equipment like ovens used in bakeries or restaurants; heating systems (once they reach a certain size), the handling, using or disposing of almost any kind of chemical; even backup generators may require a permit.
This list, though long, is not exhaustive - it represents a good variety of businesses that may need environmental permits and/or are subject to environmental regulations.
- appliance repair shops
- automobile repair shops
- asphalt manufacturers
- assembly shops
- auto body shops
- building cleaning or janitorial and maintenance firms
- cabinet makers
- car washes
- chemical manufacturers
- construction firms
- doctor's offices
- dry cleaners
- educational and vocational shops
- equipment repair firms
- fuel oil distributors
- funeral services
- furniture manufacturing and repair
- gasoline service stations
- graphic arts
- house or architectural structure painters
- interior decorators
- leather manufacturers
- lumber mills
- metallurgical industries
- metal treatment plating operations
- photo processing
- plastics manufacturing
- print shops
- quarries and crushing operations
- recycling operations
- refrigeration/air conditioning service
- rendering plants
- saw mills
- small engine repair shops
- solvent metal cleaners
- textiles manufacturing
- tool and die shops
- trucking companies
- veterinary facilities
- wood working and refinishing firms
In some instances, certain industry types are commonly regulated or are forced to tend with environmental issues over and over again. To help with this, EMAP has put together an Industry Sector Resources page which contains industry specific regulatory information and opportunities for various small business industries.