Environmental Management Assistance Program
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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.

Environmental Webinars in 2021

Do you want to learn more about environmental requirements, resources, and other opportunities for your Pennsylvania small business?  Are you looking to more effectively manage your business to comply with state, federal, and local environmental requirements?  Look no further as a series of webinars are being offered this year in 2021 to help better prepare your small business on all things environmental. In partnership with the Clarion University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) and the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is proud to offer a series of webinars for small businesses to learn more about environmental issues and the free resources available to them in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These webinars are being offered at no cost but registration is required.  The following are the dates and topics of the webinars with links to registration:

April 20, 2021 – Air Quality Permitting 101 and Small Business Environmental Resources

In this webinar, EMAP will provide the groundwork of understanding air quality regulations in the state of Pennsylvania and how your small business can best manage this seemingly complex regulatory area.  We will also cover the free and confidential resources available to small businesses through the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office.

May 13, 2021 – Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) Overview

Does your small business struggle with Environmental Concerns? Did you know that the Environmental Management Assistance Program is available to help you navigate those concerns……at no cost?  Join Jeremy Hancher and Carrie Wintersteen, members of the EMAP team, as they explain how EMAP can assist your business, what a typical engagement involves, and tips and tricks to save money while caring for the environment.

June 17, 2021 – Environmental Tips & Tricks and the Small Business Ombudsman’s Office

EMAP will provide common tips & tricks that every small business could use to better effectively manage their environmental operations. We will also cover the free and confidential resources available to small businesses through the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office.

September 16, 2021 – Pennsvylania Environmental Resources, FAQs, and More

EMAP will answer frequently asked questions that Pennsylvania small businesses often have when attempting to manage local, state, and federal environmental regulations & requirements. We will also cover the free and confidential environmental resources available to small businesses through the Pennsylvania DEP Small Business Ombudsman’s Office. (Registration link coming soon.)

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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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