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Metaltech Success Story: Two for One Permitting Assistance

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Tony Zaffuto founded Metaltech in 1989 to make parts for the automotive industry. The small business out of DuBois, PA, takes powdered metal and through the magic of manufacturing, turn it into high quality gears, spacers, structural parts, and more. Recently, Metaltech, Inc. became involved with a start-up battery company for the renewable energy sector, jointly developing several components for prototype testing. To produce the components, Metaltech, Inc. needed to purchase and install a new oven.

Being an experienced small business owner, with a long-standing air permit, Tony knew he needed approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) before purchasing and installing a new oven. Working with his local DEP office, he was provided an explanation of what forms DEP needed to approve for installation of the new oven. Unfortunately, the terminology and abbreviations used within the forms were confusing and Tony knew he needed additional help.

Seeking Air Quality Assistance

Metaltech is a small company with 38 employees and none of them are full-time environmental professionals. The length of the required application was intimidating, and Tony did not want to answer the questions incorrectly. The DEP staff recommended he reach out to the Small Business Development Center’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) for free and confidential air quality assistance.

Charles (Chuck) Haney, an EMAP consultant out of the Shippensburg University SBDC, began working with Metaltech was able to phrase the application questions in a way that made sense to someone outside the environmental field. Tony knows his business inside and out and as soon as Tony understood what was being asked, the answers came immediately. In no time the application was submitted and Metaltech received the DEP’s permission to install a new oven.

Air Quality Permit Renewal

Metaltech’s environmental needs didn’t end there. While they were asking for permission to install the new oven, their air permit became due for renewal. Tony and Chuck from EMAP were able to immediately start on the renewal application. Once again, Tony had all the information and was able to provide the information needed with some guidance from EMAP. The renewal was submitted to the DEP and is pending approval.

The information needed to get the DEP’s approval for the new oven and air permit renewal was at Tony’s fingertips. However, he admits that he “would have struggled with the application. There was a half-dozen or so points we would have missed.” A guiding hand from the Chuck and EMAP helped everything go very smoothly.

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.