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Environmental Management Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is EMAP?

The Pennsylvania SBDC Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) is a no-cost, confidential statewide environmental assistance service for small businesses. We can help you with environmental regulatory compliance issues and provide additional environmental information as needed.

EMAP is a non-profit, university-based organization headquartered at Widener University.

2. Which businesses can you help – just existing businesses, or start-ups, too?

We provide assistance to businesses at any stage, from pre-venture to existing companies.


We work closely with our Pennsylvania SBDC business consultants, providing relevant information to businesses just getting started. Our EMAP consultants can help you review your business plan to determine if you require regulatory agency approval or permit(s). We can help you identify the environmental licenses, permits, and registrations necessary to open your business. For an introductory list of the types of requirements your business may be subject to, we suggest you review our Environmental Considerations for New Businesses, and then contact us with any questions.

Existing Businesses:

With today’s complex environmental regulations, it’s difficult to stay informed on requirements and opportunities that apply to your business. Through one-on-one consulting, our newsletter and other communications, EMAP keeps small businesses up-to-date on what they need to know from new regulatory requirements to relevant new technology and funding opportunities.

Our current clients include businesses in manufacturing, service, retail, construction – just about any small business may be affected by environmental compliance regulations or have other particular environmental issues.

3. What are some examples of the types of services you offer?

EMAP provides Pennsylvania small businesses with the answers and assistance they need to effectively manage their environmental issues, reduce regulatory risks, and save money.

EMAP consultants are experts in environmental compliance issues, and provide confidential assistance with your questions related to air emissions, solid waste, hazardous waste, storage tanks, and water regulations.

We provide assistance with:

  • Air quality issues in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Environmental regulatory requirements
  • Permit applications, forms and plans
  • Environmental management strategies
  • Pollution prevention and waste minimization

EMAP has various educational offerings as well – our consultants offer training seminars throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We also provide regulatory and environmental updates via our newsletter and other publications.

View EMAP in the News, and Success Stories for more information.

4. What are some examples of the types of businesses you work with?

We assist a broad range of small businesses including auto body shops, bakeries, dental offices, dry-cleaners, grocery stores, woodworkers, restaurants, metalworkers, printers, and manufacturers of products from aircraft parts to textiles.

5. What defines a “small business”? What other requirements do I have to meet to qualify for your services?

In general, a small business is defined as one having 100 or fewer employees. In some cases, EMAP is able to assist slightly larger small businesses should your operation meet the SBA definition of a small business.

To be eligible for EMAP services, your operations must be headquartered in Pennsylvania.

6. Can EMAP work with Title V facilities?

No, we cannot work with these types of operations.  Title V facilities are considered a major source of air emissions and typically requires a whole lot of time & effort to manage.  While our team certainly has the environmental expertise, EMAP works with only “area sources”, or smaller sources of air emissions. 

Please note that EMAP cannot work with Title V sources even if the facility is considered a small business by SBA size standards or Pennsylvania’s definition of a small business (100 employees or less).

7. What are the costs associated with your service?

Our services are provided to small businesses free-of-charge.  We only ask that if you are happy with EMAP services to please sing our praises to the small business community, Pennsylvania DEP, and your legislators. 

8. If I call EMAP with a compliance issue, will I be reported to a regulatory agency?

Absolutely not! All Pennsylvania SBDC services are strictly confidential.

9. Do you perform free energy efficiency assessments?

Unfortunately, due to funding cuts, our energy efficiency assessment services were suspended several years ago. Should you need assistance with an energy assessment, we will be glad to point you in the direction of one of our partner organizations.

EMAP does offer onsite assessments to review air quality, waste, wastewater, and pollution prevention issues and opportunities.  To learn more, see Onsite Assessments.

10. Can you help me identify funding opportunities so I can afford to make improvements at my business?

Yes, we help many small businesses apply for grants and loans. For example, with EMAP’s help, EMAP clients have received over $1 million in funding for 189 energy efficiency projects through DEP’s Small Business Advantage Grant Program.

Grants and low-interest loans are a great way to help offset or manage the costs of compliance and efficiency investments. Visit our Funding page for more information on these types of programs. Then call our consultants for assistance figuring out which programs are the best fit for your project, and guidance while completing the applications. Many EMAP clients have secured funds with our help – visit our Success Stories to read about some of them.

11. How can I stay informed about the latest news in regulations, funding, environmental compliance and other important environmental matters in Pennsylvania?

EMAP’s newsletter, The First Step, provides quarterly updates on these issues as well as information on environmental topics and client success stories.  To be added to the mailing list, click here.

EMAP also occasionally emails our clients with timely regulatory and funding updates.

You can also connect with us on our social media channels.

If you ever need a very quick response you can always contact EMAP through the toll-free EMAP hotline or send us an email at

12. What exactly happens when I “become a client” of the Pennsylvania SBDC? Will I be charged money once I’m a client? Will my information still be confidential?

The process of becoming an official client is very simple. We ask you to fill out a short form, which helps us gather relevant background information we need to understand your business’ unique situation, allowing us to better serve you, in the long run. All the information you provide remains completely confidential, though it does allow us to get a broad view of the types of challenges PA businesses face.

Becoming a client doesn’t cost anything, nor do we start to charge for services once you become a client. Our services, with the exception of certain trainings or workshops, are provided completely free of charge, no matter how long you work with us.

How do we work for you?

Read about how our clients work with us in our many Success Stories

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.