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Speak Up for Your Small Business: DEP Invites Public Comments on Crematory Incinerator Permits

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is inviting public comments on the proposed General Plan Approval (GPA) and General Operating Permit (GP) for Human or Animal Crematory Incinerators (BAQ-GPA/GP-14 or GP-14). This opportunity is particularly relevant for small businesses, including small animal and human crematories, as well as veterinary clinics, who may have an existing air quality permit.

Key Details:

The permit type is a proposed General Plan Approval (GPA) and General Operating Permit (GP), applicable to human or animal crematory incinerators with rated capacities less than 500 pounds per hour. The authority for this permit was developed under section 6.1(f) of the Air Pollution Control Act (35 P.S. § 4006.1(f)) and 25 Pa. Code Chapter 127, Subchapter H. The proposed GP-14 includes visible and odor emissions monitoring.

Facilities must maintain records of maintenance performed, municipal notifications, malfunction reporting, and annual facility inventory reporting. These records must be kept onsite or at the nearest local field office for 5 years.

The fees associated with the permit include a General Plan Approval application fee of $1,600, a General Operating Permit application/renewal fee of $750, an Annual Operating Permit maintenance fee of $500, a Transfer of ownership fee of $500, and an Administrative amendment fee of $500. The permit term is 5 years, and approved authorizations can be renewed before the expiration date.

Work Practice Standards:

  • Temperature Requirements:
    • Before charging the unit, the temperature at the exit of the secondary (or last) chamber shall achieve and be maintained at or above 1600°F throughout the cremation cycle.
    • For units that are charged when both chambers are cold, the temperature at the exit of the secondary (or last) chamber shall achieve and be maintained at or above 1600°F before firing of the primary chamber burner.
  • Interlock System:
    • The crematory incinerator shall provide an interlock system that precludes charging of the primary chamber until the secondary (or last) chamber exit temperature is established and holding at 1600°F.
    • In units charged when both chambers are cold:
      • The crematory incinerator shall also provide an interlock system that precludes firing the primary chamber burner until the secondary chamber exit temperature is established and holding at 1600°F.
      • The unit shall not be charged until the primary chamber is cooled to less than 150°F after the previous cremation cycle.
  • Operator Guidelines:
    • Operators may open the charge door during the cremation cycle for short periods of time to inspect or reposition the remains. If the owner or operator opens the charge door, they must follow the manufacturer’s recommended written specifications for operating the unit during inspection.

How to Participate:

To participate, you can review the full proposal on the Pennsylvania Bulletin. You can submit comments using the Department’s eComment system at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or by email to ecomment@pa.gov. The Department must receive comments no later than June 17, 2024.

Pennsylvania DEP Releases Updated Technical Guidance Documents for Aboveground and Underground Storage Tanks

Small businesses across Pennsylvania have access to newly updated technical guidance documents (TGDs) recently released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These TGDs serve to provide clear standards and guidance on various environmental regulations pertinent to small business operations.

Among the updated TGDs are those addressing closure requirements for both aboveground and underground storage tank systems. These documents establish minimum standards that businesses must adhere to in order to comply with regulatory mandates. The guidance covers a spectrum of procedures including closure notification, tank system closure, waste management, site assessment, sampling, release reporting, and recordkeeping.

Noteworthy revisions to these documents include updates to sampling requirements to ensure alignment with current regulatory standards. Additionally, both the Aboveground Storage Tank System Closure Report Form and the Underground Storage Tank System Closure Report Form have undergone modifications to enhance the completeness of reported information.

Small business owners are encouraged to thoroughly review these updated documents to stay abreast of their environmental obligations and ensure compliance with state regulations. Public participation in the review process is highly valued by the DEP, and comments on the draft TGDs and associated report forms are actively solicited.

Comments on the draft TGDs will be accepted until May 6, 2024. Business owners can provide their feedback using the Department’s online eComment tool.

Access to the revised TGDs and related report forms is available on the DEP’s website. To access these resources and stay informed about environmental regulations impacting small businesses in Pennsylvania, visit the DEP’s eLibrary at www.depgreenport.state.pa.us/elibrary/.

EPA Establishes Environmental Justice Clearinghouse

EPA announced the Environmental Justice Clearinghouse, a comprehensive, internet-based resource hub related to environmental justice (EJ) tools, resources, and information. The preliminary resources listed were submitted by agencies from across the federal government, including funding opportunities, screening and mapping tools, and technical assistance.

Small businesses can derive several benefits from the Environmental Justice Clearinghouse:

  • Access to Resources: The EJ Clearinghouse provides a curated collection of materials related to environmental justice. Small businesses can access guidelines, case studies, policy documents, and best practices tailored to their needs.
  • Compliance Guidance: Stay informed about regulatory requirements. The EJ Clearinghouse offers insights into compliance measures, helping businesses navigate environmental regulations effectively.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with the local community. Learn how to foster positive relationships, address concerns, and collaborate on sustainable initiatives. The EJ Clearinghouse provides tools for meaningful community involvement.
  • Mitigation Strategies: Discover mitigation and restoration practices. If your business operates in areas impacted by environmental issues, the EJ Clearinghouse offers practical solutions to minimize ecological harm.
  • User Feedback: Small businesses can actively contribute to improving the EJ Clearinghouse. Share feedback, suggest enhancements, and help shape a valuable resource for all stakeholders.

EPA Proposes Ban on TCE: How it May Affect Small Businesses

In a significant move aimed at safeguarding public health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a ban on the use of trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical solvent with known serious health risks, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). While this proposal has wide-reaching implications, it particularly resonates with the small business community, given the various industries that use TCE in their operations.

Where TCE is Often Used:

Small businesses may use TCE in cleaning and degreasing (including spot cleaning, vapor degreasing, cold cleaning, and aerosol degreasing) substances, and if they manufacture refrigerants or use refrigerants. TCE is also used in paint and coat manufacturing, plastics material manufacturing, wood window and door manufacturing, pharmaceutical preparation, and printing machinery. Additionally, TCE is also found in consumer products such as typewriter correction fluids, paint removers, paint strippers, adhesives, spot removers, cleaning fluids for rugs, and metal cleaners.

The proposed ban on trichloroethylene (TCE), while primarily aimed at protecting public health and the environment, will have several potential effects on small businesses.

Transition to Safer Alternatives:

Small businesses that currently use TCE in their products or processes will need to transition to safer alternatives. While this transition may involve some initial costs, it is likely to lead to long-term benefits, as safer alternatives are generally associated with lower health and environmental risks. Small businesses should consider exploring these alternatives and assess their feasibility in their operations.

Compliance Costs:

Small businesses will need to ensure compliance with the proposed rule, which may require changes in their manufacturing processes, product formulations, or supply chains. These adjustments may come with associated costs, including investing in new equipment or materials, revising safety protocols, and retraining employees.

Worker Protections:

The proposed rule includes stringent worker protections for limited remaining commercial and industrial uses of TCE. Small businesses will need to invest in safety measures to protect their employees from potential TCE exposure. This may involve additional training, personal protective equipment, and equipment upgrades.

Phased Transition for Some Uses:

The proposal acknowledges that for certain limited uses of TCE, there will be a longer transition period. Thus, small businesses may have more time to adapt to alternative chemicals or processes. However, they will still need to comply with the worker protections outlined in the proposal.

Reduced Legal and Financial Risks:

By proactively adopting the ban and transitioning to safer alternatives, small businesses can reduce the risk of legal and financial liabilities associated with TCE exposure. This can protect them from potential lawsuits, fines, and reputational damage.

Environmental and Health Benefits:

The proposed ban aims to reduce the adverse health effects and environmental contamination caused by TCE. Small businesses located in areas with historical TCE contamination can benefit from a cleaner and healthier environment, potentially improving the quality of life for their employees and the surrounding community.

Awareness of Health Risks:

The proposed ban raises awareness about the health risks associated with TCE, which can benefit small businesses by encouraging them to prioritize the safety of their employees and customers. Implementing safer practices can enhance the reputation of a business and improve relationships with stakeholders and the local community.

Public Comments and Engagement:

Small businesses have the opportunity to provide feedback during the public comment period, enabling them to express concerns or suggest adjustments to the proposed rule. This engagement can help shape the final regulations and ensure that the unique challenges faced by small businesses are considered.

Topics of interest to small businesses, in which EPA is requesting comments on as noted in the federal register notice, are the following:

  • EPA requests public comment on reasonable compliance timeframes for small businesses, specifically on whether and how to provide longer compliance timeframes for transitioning to alternatives for uses requiring reformulation and cleaning processes for cleaning parts for national defense or cleaning medical devices.
  • EPA requests public comment on differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that account for the resources available to small entities.
  • EPA requests public comment on the feasibility of use of alternatives to TCE and their availability for conditions of use that drive the unreasonable risk.
  • EPA requests public comment on how the rulemaking should consider TCE alternatives in light of ongoing regulatory scrutiny.
For those small businesses interested in voicing their opinions on this proposal, the EPA will accept public comments on or before November 30, 2023.

EMAP Newsletter – Fall 2023 Edition

The Fall 2023 edition of the EMAP Newsletter, the First Stop, is now available for print, download, and sharing.  Included is information on funding programs, opportunities for public comment, a small business success story, and a Q&A guide to submitting electronic RFDs.
   

How EPA’s MM2A Proposed Rule Could Impact Small Businesses

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is constantly working to safeguard public health and promote transparency and accountability in environmental regulations. In a recent proposed rule, the EPA aims to amend Clean Air Act rules, a change that may significantly affect small businesses across the nation.

Proposed Rule Overview

On September 27, 2023, the EPA introduced a proposed rule, known as the Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (MM2A). The primary goal of this proposal is to enhance public health protections by setting new requirements for major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that choose to reclassify themselves as area sources under the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) program.

Major sources are those that emit or have the potential to emit 10 tons per year (tpy) or more of a single HAP or 25 tpy or more of a combination of HAP. In contrast, area sources emit HAP below these specified thresholds.

Key Provisions of the Proposed Rule

  1. Federally Enforceable Permit Conditions: One of the central provisions of the proposed rule is that it would require sources reclassifying from major to area sources to establish federally enforceable permit conditions. These conditions would serve as safeguards to prevent emission increases above the levels allowed by the major source NESHAP that the source was subject to before reclassification.
  2. Applicability: The proposed rule would apply to all sources choosing to reclassify, including those that have reclassified since January 25, 2018.
  3. Effective Date: Reclassification would only become effective after a permit containing the federally enforceable conditions has been issued and the EPA has been notified. Additionally, the proposed rule clarifies reporting requirements and updates information regarding the submission of confidential business information.

Background and Context

To better understand the significance of this proposed rule, it’s important to consider its background and context:
  • Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs): These are pollutants known or suspected to cause serious health effects, including cancer and reproductive issues. The EPA, in collaboration with state, local, and tribal governments, seeks to reduce emissions of 188 identified toxic air pollutants.
  • Clean Air Act (CAA): Section 112 of the Clean Air Act establishes the regulatory framework for controlling HAP emissions. Major sources are generally subject to stringent NESHAP regulations, while area sources may have less stringent standards.
  • Once in Always In Policy: Historically, a policy known as “Once in Always In” required facilities that were major sources of HAP on the first significant compliance date of a major source NESHAP to comply permanently with that standard. This created disincentives for major sources to reduce emissions.
  • Policy Changes: In response to Executive Orders and public feedback, the EPA withdrew the “Once in Always In” Policy and issued guidance on reclassification of major sources as area sources in January 2018.

Impact on Small Businesses

So, how does this proposed rule affect small businesses? Here are some potential implications:
  1. Compliance Costs: Small businesses that choose to reclassify may face additional costs associated with establishing federally enforceable permit conditions. These compliance costs could potentially strain the resources of smaller enterprises.
  2. Environmental Benefits: On the positive side, the proposed rule may encourage major sources, including some small businesses, to evaluate their operations and consider changes to reduce HAP emissions. This could lead to improved environmental outcomes.
  3. Regulatory Clarity: The proposed rule aims to clarify regulatory requirements, which could benefit small businesses by providing clearer guidelines and reducing regulatory uncertainty.

Conclusion

The EPA’s proposed rule for reclassifying major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act has the potential to impact small businesses in various ways. While it introduces new compliance requirements, it also encourages emission reduction efforts, which can contribute to a cleaner environment. Small businesses should closely monitor this proposal and provide feedback during the public comment period to ensure their concerns and perspectives are considered as the rule moves forward.

Comments must be received on or before November 13, 2023.

DEP Interim Final Environmental Justice Policy

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced an Interim Final Environmental Justice Policy to enhance permit application reviews and outreach in environmental justice areas across the Commonwealth. In addition, DEP introduced the advanced PennEnviroScreen mapping tool. This tool redefines environmental justice areas using 32 indicators related to environment, health, and socioeconomic factors.

Key highlights include the classification of projects into two categories: Public Participation Trigger Projects and Public Participation Opt-In Projects.

Covered Projects

Permit applications requiring enhanced public participation include NPDES industrial wastewater facilities, new major sources of air pollutants, waste permits for disposal facilities, mining permits, individual land application permits, and certain Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

Projects that may qualify for enhanced Opt-In status include plan approvals for significant air pollution sources, resource recovery facilities, sludge processing sites, large sewage treatment plants, transfer stations, recycling facilities, scrap metal facilities, landfills, medical waste incinerators, underground injection wells tied to Oil and Gas development, and other projects as determined by the community.

Starting September 16, the PennEnviroScreen tool becomes essential for permit applications. Small businesses and communities will be empowered to make informed decisions about environmental considerations.

Opportunity for Public Comment

DEP has stated that the Interim Final EJ Policy will come into effect as soon as it’s published in the PA Bulletin on September 16. This publication will kickstart a formal public comment period that runs until October 29.

Public comments can be made through DEP’s eComment portal once available.

The policy also empowers community members and DEP staff to request Enhanced Public Participation for projects not covered under Public Participation Trigger Projects. The PennEnviroScreen will guide these determinations, taking into account community concerns and environmental impacts.

Compliance & Enforcement

Furthermore, the policy outlines an Enforcement and Compliance Team to prioritize inspections and compliance actions in environmental justice areas. This initiative aims to ensure timely responses to violations, effective collaboration, and responsible enforcement.

Small businesses can learn more about environmental justice here.

Implications of the AERR Proposed Rule for Small Businesses

Running a small business comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities, particularly when it comes to regulatory compliance. One such regulation that could potentially impact small businesses is the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR) proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While it might sound like a distant concern, it’s important for small business owners to grasp the potential complexities and implications of this rule.

The AERR Proposed Rule: What You Need to Know

The AERR proposed rule aims to tighten reporting requirements for businesses concerning their emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). While the rule might seem complex, its essence can be understood quite simply. The EPA is looking to mandate that businesses, with a few possible exceptions, report each individual HAP emission that surpasses a specific threshold unique to that particular HAP. To illustrate this, let’s consider a couple of examples. For a substance like styrene, businesses would need to report any emissions exceeding 10 tons per year. On the other hand, substances like Chromium (VI) and Chromium Trioxide have a much lower reporting threshold – only emissions surpassing 0.24 lbs per year would need to be reported.

Varied Reporting Thresholds and Impacts

For common HAPs like toluene, the reporting threshold might align closely with that of styrene – meaning that emissions need to be substantial before reporting is required. However, this is not the case across the board. The disparity between reporting levels for substances like styrene and chromium highlights a significant aspect of the rule – certain businesses might now need to report emissions at extremely low levels. This represents a major shift for some small businesses that have never encountered such stringent requirements.

Challenges for Small Businesses

The implications for small businesses could be considerable. Many small businesses may find themselves in the position of having to report emissions for the first time. This could be due to the fact that their emission levels, which were previously considered negligible, now require reporting. This shift poses potential challenges, as some of these businesses might not have the necessary recordkeeping systems in place to facilitate the reporting process. It’s important to note that, in many cases, permits for these businesses might already require a certain level of recordkeeping, especially if they are subject to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). However, the enhanced reporting requirements of the AERR rule could demand a higher level of precision and documentation than what these businesses are accustomed to.

Navigating the Way Forward

Thankfully, the EPA is aware of the complexities these changes might introduce, especially for small businesses. In response, they are offering support through a series of webinars designed to provide businesses with a clear understanding of the AERR proposal and its potential impacts. These webinars could prove invaluable for small business owners seeking clarity on the new reporting requirements and how best to adapt to them.

In Summary

The AERR proposed rule might appear complex and distant, but its potential impact on small businesses should not be underestimated. As reporting thresholds for Hazardous Air Pollutant emissions tighten, businesses – both large and small – need to be prepared for the changes ahead. The EPA’s efforts to provide resources through webinars is a step in the right direction, offering businesses the guidance they need to navigate the shifting regulatory landscape. Small businesses should take advantage of these resources to ensure that they can adapt effectively to the new reporting requirements and continue to thrive in a compliant manner. To find out more about the AERR proposal and the upcoming webinars, visit the official EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/air-emissions-reporting-requirements-aerr. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before November 17, 2023.

EPA Proposes Rule to Lead-Based Paint Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put forward a proposal to enhance requirements for dealing with lead-based paint hazards in buildings constructed before 1978 and child-care facilities. This proposed rule aims to safeguard children and communities from the harmful effects of lead paint dust exposure.

Approximately 39,000 small businesses, including landlords, owners and operators of child-occupied facilities, residential remodelers, abatement firms, real estate agents, and brokers, would be directly affected by this rule.

The proposed rule seeks to strengthen EPA regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by revising two key standards:

  1. Dust-Lead Hazard Standards (DLHS): These standards identify hazardous lead levels in dust found on floors and windowsills.
      • The proposal intends to lower the DLHS from the current 10 micrograms per square foot (µg/ft2) for floors and 100 µg/ft2 for windowsills to any reportable level greater than zero. This change acknowledges that no level of lead in dust has been deemed safe for children.
  2. Dust-Lead Clearance Levels (DLCL): These levels indicate the maximum amount of lead allowed in dust on floors, window sills, and window troughs after lead removal activities.
    • The proposal aims to reduce the DLCL from 10 µg/ft2 to 3 µg/ft2 for floors, from 100 µg/ft2 to 20 µg/ft2 for windowsills, and from 400 µg/ft2 to 25 µg/ft2 for window troughs. These are considered the lowest dust-lead levels that the EPA believes can be reliably and effectively achieved after abatement activities.

To comply with this proposed rule, property owners, lead-based paint professionals, and government agencies will use DLHS to identify dust-lead hazards in residential and childcare facilities built before 1978. If any lead-based paint activities, like abatement, are carried out, individuals and firms must be certified and follow specific work practices set by EPA’s Lead-Based Paint Activities Program. After abatement, testing is required to ensure dust lead levels are below the DLCL before considering the abatement complete.

The EPA is inviting public comments on this proposal for 60 days via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2023-0231 at www.regulations.gov.

Upcoming Lead-Based Paint Virtual Workshop

In October, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plan to conduct a virtual public workshop to gather stakeholder perspectives on specific topics related to low levels of lead in existing paint. This includes potential health effects, the relationship between lead-based paint and dust-lead, possible exposure pathways, and technologies for detecting, measuring, and characterizing low levels of lead in paint.

The EPA and HUD are also interested in any available information on lead-based paint characteristics and medical evidence related to low levels of lead in paint. The insights shared during the workshop will help inform their joint effort to revisit the federal definition of lead-based paint and revise it if needed.

For more information, check for updates on the Lead-Based Paint Virtual Workshop.

EPA Proposes Ban on Perchloroethylene: Implications for Small Businesses

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a significant action under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) with a proposed ban on perchloroethylene. The proposed ban on most uses of perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical known to pose serious health risks, aims to protect individuals from neurotoxicity and cancer. While consumer uses of PCE would be banned, many industrial and commercial uses would continue under stringent workplace controls. In this post, we will explore the implications of this proposed ban for small businesses, particularly those in the dry cleaning industry.

Protecting Public Health:

The EPA’s proposal reflects the recognition of the dangers associated with PCE exposure. By banning consumer uses and implementing strict workplace controls, the EPA aims to minimize the health risks posed by this chemical. The proposed ban considers the health and safety of workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and communities near facilities utilizing PCE.

Impact on Small Businesses:

The proposed ban on PCE usage will have a significant impact on small businesses, particularly those operating in the dry cleaning industry. Dry cleaners, many of which are small businesses, have traditionally relied on PCE as a solvent in their operations. However, the 10-year phaseout period provided in the proposal allows these businesses some time to consider a transition to alternative processes.

Economic Analysis

EPA estimates that 6,000 dry cleaners still use PCE, a majority of which are small businesses. It is still unclear as to the impact of a prohibition of PCE for dry cleaning through a gradual phaseout. EPA has not been able to reliably estimate the number of dry cleaning facility closures that may be associated with this phaseout. However, after the results of an economic analysis, EPA expects some closures because EPA estimates that only about 60 PCE machines are expected to be in use at the end of the proposed phaseout period given the age of the machines and the declining trend of use.

EPA believes that almost no new PCE machines have been brought into service in recent years and therefore most existing dry cleaning machines using PCE are old and will no longer be in service by the proposed phaseout date. 

EPA requests comment on these estimated impacts to the dry cleaning industry, including regarding expected closures. In addition to dry cleaners, additional users of PCE (such as in vapor degreasing) could be strongly impacted because they may have no economical alternative to the use of PCE.

Transitioning to TSCA Compliant Practices:

Small businesses, including dry cleaners, may face economic challenges during the transition away from PCE. To mitigate these impacts, President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request includes funding for pollution prevention grants. These grants aim to support small businesses in adopting TSCA compliant practices and facilitate the shift away from PCE usage. Dry cleaners can explore these grant opportunities to aid in their transition and ensure compliance with the proposed regulations.

Feasibility and Efficacy of Worker Protections:

The EPA encourages stakeholders to provide input on the proposed rule, especially regarding the feasibility and efficacy of the worker protection requirements. Small businesses and other entities affected by the proposed workplace chemical protection program can contribute their perspectives on the implementation process and the timeline for phasing out PCE usage in dry cleaning operations. The EPA will host a public webinar in the coming weeks, providing an opportunity for employers, workers, and interested parties to learn more about the proposed regulations and engage in discussions.

Providing Comments on the Proposal

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed rule for PCE for 60 days, or until August 15th, which can be done in the Federal Register via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-072.  Pennsylvania small businesses can also speak with a member of the EMAP team if so desired.

Public Comment Period for Ethylene Oxide Emission Standards

EPA is proposing amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Ethylene Oxide (EtO) Commercial Sterilization Facilities source category.  EPA’s proposed rule would regulate parts of a commercial sterilizer facility that have not been regulated previously. This includes more stringent controls for sources of EtO emissions that currently regulated and would require facilities to continuously monitor air pollution control equipment and conduct performance testing.

Commercial sterilization facilities play a vital role in maintaining an adequate supply of medical devices.  EPA has identified 86 facilities that are in current operation with 20 of these facilities being recognized as a small business.

Comments must be received on or before June 27, 2023.  In addition, EPA will hold virtual public hearings on May 2 and May 3, 2023.

EPA Seeking Public Comment on the Inflation Reduction Act

EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation is seeking public comment on a set of non-regulatory dockets on various programs and grants related to the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act.  The public, including small businesses, may comment on these dockets through January 18, 2023. More information on this Request for Information can be found here. Topics of the non-regulatory dockets include the following the areas:
  • Climate Pollution Reduction Grants
  • Funding to Address Air Pollution
  • Methane Emissions Reduction Program
  • Funding for Implementation of American Innovation and Manufacturing Act
  • Low Emissions Electricity Program & Greenhouse Gas Corporate Reporting

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.
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.