Environmental Management Assistance Program
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EPA Taking Comments on SNAP Program

On July 28, 2022, pursuant to the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, EPA proposed to list certain substances as acceptable subject to use conditions in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector for chillers – comfort cooling, residential dehumidifiers, non-residential dehumidifiers, residential and light commercial air conditioning, and heat pumps, and a substance as acceptable subject to use conditions and narrowed use limits in very low temperature refrigeration. Through this action, EPA proposes to establish requirements for electrical air conditioners, heat pumps, and dehumidifiers, laboratory equipment containing refrigerant, safe use of flammable refrigerants, and safe design, construction, installation, and operation of refrigeration systems. In addition, EPA proposes to list certain substances as acceptable subject to use conditions in the fire suppression sector for certain streaming and total flooding uses. EPA requests advance comment on potential approaches to SNAP listing decisions for very short-lived substances that have ozone depletion potentials similar to those of ozone-depleting substances scheduled to be phased out. Comments are due September 12, 2022Learn more.

EPA seeks small business input on proposed TSCA rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for small businesses to participate on a panel that will focus on the development of a proposed rule that will focus on potential risks from existing chemicals.  This rule will collect data in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process. To learn more about this opportunity please see this recently published press release by EPA. Small business self-nominations may be submitted through this link and must be received by July 20, 2022.

Environmental Justice Policy Now Available for Public Comment

After years of preparation and collaboration, an updated Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Environmental Justice Policy is available for official public comment from now until May 11th. The draft policy moves beyond the public participation in the permitting process – it looks at ways DEP can further environmental justice goals in compliance, enforcement, grantmaking, and other aspects of DEP’s work. DEP will host three virtual public hearings in April to accept verbal public comment. Written public comment is also always welcome. Read the updated policy, view the public hearing dates, and learn how to comment at the EJ Policy Revision webpage. The changes that have been discussed and devised with stakeholders for years, including small businesses, are now assembled in a draft policy that has eight sections.
  • General Information includes definitions, history and background, a description of the Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ), and the Environmental Justice Advisory Board (EJAB).
  • Permit Review Process is the process around implementing additional public input around particular permits when they are submitted.
  • Community Input describes a range of opportunities for public input throughout and before the permit review process.
  • Oil and Gas Public Engagement was a major need identified by community members and was included in the fourth section.
  • Inspections, Compliance, and Enforcement guidance helps the policy move beyond public participation in the permitting process and are covered in the fifth section.
  • Climate Initiatives spells out ways that EJ can be included in the climate action plan and other efforts.
  • Community Development and Investments look to ways to financially assist communities facing environmental justice issues in the seventh section.
  • Policy Updates, the final section, specifies that the policy should be reviewed for updates regularly to ensure that the policy continues to address community concerns.
At the request of stakeholders, this policy goes beyond the current policy’s scope of public participation and meetings during the review of permit applications. This policy integrates environmental justice into more of the Department’s functions including climate initiatives, penalties (Inspections, Compliance, and Enforcement), and grantmaking (Community Development and Investments). Visit the policy revision webpage to review the policy today and learn how to comment. Three virtual public hearings will be held to provide an opportunity to learn more about the policy and provide and opportunity to give verbal public comment.  Virtual public hearing times and information on how to sign up can be found on the EJ policy revision webpage.

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Jeremy Hancher is the EMAP Program Manager located at the Widener University SBDC.  He holds over 15 years of experience in environmental compliance, environmental policy, and program management.  He is proud to be the team lead of the award-winning EMAP program which provides free and confidential environmental assistance to the Pennsylvania small business community in fulfillment of the requirements of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and Section 507 of the federal Clean Air Act.
In 2015, Jeremy was part of the team effort when EMAP was recognized by US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for Outstanding Accomplishments by a State Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider in Providing Technical Environmental Assistance to the Small Business Community. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a certificate from the Wharton School.
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