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Environmental Management Assistance Program
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Water issues can certainly affect small businesses and their operations.  Wastewater and stormwater issues are potential problem areas that many Pennsylvania small businesses run into.  In addition, drinking water issues may certainly come into play for small businesses that serve water to the general public. 

There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses to monitor, reduce, and become more efficient with water consumption.  These opportunities can help reduce regulatory burdens and help reduce your bottom line.

What is Wastewater?

The resources below include regulations and guidance on water management from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Industrial Wastewater

If your operation generates industrial wastewater, you have three options:

  • Send it to the municipal wastewater treatment plant – contact that authority for permission and to find out what, if any, pretreatment is required
  • Treat the wastewater onsite – if discharge to waters of the Commonwealth occurs from the onsite facility following the treatment, then, in addition to the NPDES (part I) permit, a Water Quality Management (Part II) permit is needed. If discharge to the waters of the Commonwealth does not occur following treatment, then no permit (neither NPDES nor Part II) is needed.
  • Discharge to a body of water – you need a national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit

For more information about the NPDES and onsite treatment requirements, visit the following websites:

Drinking Water

If you provide drinking water to your employees from an onsite well, you may need to meet Pennsylvania regulations for a nontransient, noncommunity, public water supply.


If you store items outside, such as drums, containers, pallets, tanks and scrap or off-spec product, you may need a Pennsylvania stormwater permit. Also, if you construct a building, addition, parking lot, or other structure that disturbs the soil, you need to contact your county conservation district about the possible runoff issues. To learn more:

Learn more about Pennsylvania’s stormwater management program regarding surface water and effects of new land development on quantity and quality of runoff.

(877) ASK-EMAP

Speak to a consultant about your environmental compliance questions.
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.