Environmental Management Assistance Program

GPS Metals Selected for 2023 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

GPS Metals, a small wholesale processor and broker of non-ferrous scrap metals from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, received the 2023 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.  This award showcases the accomplishments of a small business in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, sustainability, and mentoring.

“With EMAP’s help we were able to preserve 7 full-time, good paying jobs with benefits, and continue to contribute to the community by recycling metal products in a responsible manner.”

GPS Metals worked with EMAP to obtain the necessary air quality permits from the Allegheny County Health Department, eliminate fugitive emissions from their wire chopping operation, then made modifications to eliminate and prevent stormwater runoff, and improved indoor air quality for their employees.  In addition, GPS Metals reclaims over 2,400 tons of metallic material annually which diverts this waste from going to a landfill.
GPS Metals with their 2023 SBEAP Award. Pictured are Tim Nickerson (left), Keith Schultz (middle), and Kyle Schultz (right).

EMAP Receives 2022 National Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Excellence Award

The National Steering Committee (NSC) of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have selected the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) of Widener University with the 2022 Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Excellence Award. This award category recognizes exemplary performance of a state SBEAP in the areas of compliance assistance, sustainability, advocacy, and collaboration at the national level. The SBEAP Excellence Award emphasizes program leadership where they have created resources and work products, promoted policy advancements, developed program innovations, and established new partnerships to build a strong network of small business assistance. Since 1997, EMAP has provided free and confidential environmental technical assistance to the small business community in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Headquartered at Widener University in the School of Business Administration on Widener’s main campus located in Chester, Pennsylvania, EMAP services are available throughout the entire network of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to any Pennsylvania small business seeking assistance with issues of air quality and environmental compliance.   The EMAP team, which includes Lee Ann Briggs, Jeremy Hancher, Charles Haney, and Carrie Wintersteen, was chosen by the SBEAP/SBO for their involvement and leadership with the National Steering Committee, the Technical and Annual Training Subcommittees, and the Environmental Justice Workgroup.  In addition, EMAP was recognized for performing small business analyses on several Pennsylvania air quality rulemakings, for collaborating with the SBDCs and the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman to conduct in-person workshops and virtual webinars on environmental resources, and in partnering with other Pennsylvania stakeholder organizations and trade associations.   Since 2018, EMAP Program Manager Jeremy Hancher has served as an appointee from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee (SBCAC).  This committee provides timely feedback on Pennsylvania air quality regulations and proposed rulemakings, environmental policies and programs, and represents the perspectives and challenges faced by Pennsylvania small businesses.   Dale Kaplan, owner of Kaplan’s Careful Cleaners and long-time Chair of the SBCAC, commented on EMAP services and having received the award by saying, “I have been with the DEP Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee for 26 years and EMAP has stepped up to the plate, the whole team, along with the 16 SBDC universities across the state and have served small businesses in a way that is really phenomenal.  You deserve what you are getting, thank you.”   Several EMAP small business clients have received National SBEAP small business awards of their own including Pennsylvania small businesses Abilene Boot Company in 2022, Dent Design Hardware in 2021, Gate 7 LLC in 2020, and Pik Rite, Inc. in 2017.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, EMAP continued to be a reliable and steady presence to Pennsylvania small businesses needing environmental assistance and support.  EMAP even pivoted during the early stages of COVID to utilize its connections within the Pennsylvania SBDC to provide firsthand knowledge of economic opportunities so that small businesses could access small business grants and low-interest loans related to COVID related shutdown orders.   Always looking to better assist Pennsylvania small businesses in any way they can, the EMAP team recently surveyed their small business clients that received technical assistance in 2021.  One small business noted the following in the survey:
“I’ve worked with EMAP for many years. The services they provide to small businesses are exceptional. I have and will continue to work with and support EMAP and continue to recommend and refer them to others as well.”

Abilene Boot selected for the 2022 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

The National Steering Committee (NSC) of the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have recognized Abilene Boot Company with the 2022 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.

This small boot manufacturer and EMAP client, Abilene Boot Company, based in Somerset, Pennsylvania, received this prestigious award for its accomplishments in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, and sustainability.   Abilene Boot was recognized for working with EMAP in evaluating the company’s air quality compliance for its operations.  This includied reviewing their natural minor operating permit, looking at coating and adhesives usage, calculating their air quality emissions, and quantifying VOCs and HAPs for the small manufacturing operation. Read More    

Dent Design Hardware selected for 2021 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

The National Steering Committee (NSC) of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) have recognized Dent Design Hardware with the 2021 Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.

The company, Dent Design Hardware, based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was recognized for its accomplishments in the areas of improving environmental performance, pollution prevention, and sustainability. EMAP Program Manager Jeremy Hancher commented with the following:
“Dent Design Hardware has been a good role model for very small businesses, especially in the manufacturing sector, challenged with environmental and economic challenges.  Tim Dodge and Dent Design Hardware have worked tirelessly at achieving environmental compliance, reducing waste, and working with Pennsylvania DEP. It is certainly not easy for a small business owner to suddenly become a storm chaser collecting stormwater samples, so we are extremely happy to see Dent Design Hardware be recognized for their positive environmental actions.”
Mr. Tim Dodge, owner of Dent Design, described his environmental philosophy by adding: “DENT uses geo-thermal heating and cooling for the manufacturing location, works only with food-grade materials in our Walk In Hardware line, and strives to be good stewards of the 2.6 acre property which is more than 50% natural growth riparian buffer to ensure that stormwater is absorbed into the ground as much as possible and avoid runoff.”  

Gate 7 selected for National Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award

The National Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAP) have recognized Gate 7 LLC as a 2020 recipient of the Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award.
As a small manufacturer of custom-made labels and decals based out of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, Gate 7 LLC, was honored with the award for proper management of their environmental responsibilities and the company’s unwavering commitment to finding greener alternatives to help reduce their carbon footprint and reduce industrial waste.
Nominated by the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers’ (SBDC) Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP), Gate 7 has become an inspiration to its customers, stakeholders and local community in Franklin County. “We are honored to be selected for this award as we are consistently aware of how our product and processes have an effect on the environment” said Clare Reay, Vice President of Gate 7 LLC.
The SBEAP’s National Steering Committee Awards are the country’s premier environmental awards for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and individuals. The awards honor and recognize small businesses, individuals, trade associations and others who have made significant contributions to protecting the environment.
“EMAP is extremely happy and delighted to hear that Gate 7 has been recognized nationally by the small business community for being good environmental stewards and for being proactive in their pursuit of making a lasting impact for their customers, employees, and local community” said Jeremy Hancher, EMAP Program Manager.  “Small manufacturers such as Gate 7 continue to face difficult challenges in today’s economic climate.  EMAP and the Pennsylvania SBDCs are proud to assist small businesses such as Gate 7 to help them remain committed to the well-being of their operation’s family culture and to their own environmental footprint.”
Among their many environmental accomplishments, Gate 7 obtained their ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems certification, built and designed a new facility utilizing energy efficient motion sensors & LED lighting, and installed solar panels with enough generation to offset up to 98% of their electricity needs.
“Gate 7 would like to thank the National SBEAPs for this award and its continued commitment in assisting small businesses achieve and sustain environmental objectives,” added Ms. Reay.
The National SBEAPs will be honoring all award recipients during the 2020 Small Business Environmental Assistance Program’s Virtual Training Event taking place September 8-11, 2020.  Small businesses and small business representatives are invited to attend but pre-registration by September 3rd is required.
More information about the National Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs is available at https://nationalsbeap.org/.

Benton Foundry Recognized by Wolf Administration

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell visits the Benton Foundry in Benton, Columbia County, today to celebrate the company’s full-facility energy audit using DEP grant funding, and the implementation of energy efficiency improvements to reduce energy usage, decrease air pollution, and save money. Secretary McDonnell will be joined by representatives from the Benton Foundry and project partners from Northampton Community College, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and PPL to discuss the company’s energy efficiency work and tour the facility. A full facility energy audit of the Benton Foundry was completed by the Emerging Technology Applications Center (ETAC) at Northampton Community College with the support of DEP grant funding, the Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and matching company dollars. Following the audit, the Benton Foundry implemented variable frequency drives for three bag houses and compressed air controls, resulting in a savings of 1,474,536 kilowatt hours per year. The reduction of energy usage significantly reduces the emissions of air pollutants and saves the Benton Foundry $89,800 per year. DEP has provided ongoing funding support for ETAC’s work to assist the Benton Foundry and other small and mid-sized businesses in their efforts to reduce energy consumption and emissions. DEP’s Air Quality Program has also provided plan approval for the Benton Foundry’s operations and oversees compliance with applicable air quality regulations.
ETAC conducts investment-grade energy, industrial process and waste minimization assessments. Assessments include a pre-assessment questionnaire, an on-site assessment and a comprehensive final report. They focus on:
  • Electric demand control
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Combustion efficiency
  • HVAC
  • Lighting
  • Process heating and cooling
  • CHP
  • Utility purchasing
  • Equipment control
  • Compressed air
  • Motors
CLICK HERE to learn more about ETAC services.
CLICK HERE to read DEP’s press release


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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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