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Small Business Assistance Progam (SBAP)

WHAT IS THE SMALL BUSINESS TECHNICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM? 

On November 15, 1990, amendments to the Clean Air Act were signed into law.  This marked the first time that thousands of small businesses were affected by federal clean air control requirements.  This decision evolved from numerous studies which concluded that several of the nation's most serious air quality problems could not be solved without establishing controls on small sources that pollute the air.  Small businesses frequently lack the technical expertise and the financial resources necessary to evaluate regulations to determine the appropriate mechanisms for compliance.  Recognizing these problems, Congress established Section 507 of the amendments, which requires all state governments to establish a Small Business Technical and Environmental Compliance Assistance Program. 

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?

The purpose of the SBAP is to provide information to small businesses about requirements of the Clean Air Act, small business rights and obligations under the Clean Air Act, methods of pollution prevention and detection, alternate technologies, methods of operation that can help reduce air pollution, and other areas.  In addition, the SBAP will refer small businesses to technical experts within the Department of Health who can assist them in achieving compliance.  The SBAP also will  consider requests from small businesses for modifying work practices and technological methods of compliance. 

WHO QUALIFIES TO RECEIVE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE? 

The SBAP provides the services of an environmental consultant to those business that qualify as small business concerns. 

A small business is defined as one that: 

        Has 100 or fewer employees;

  • Is a small business concern as defined in the small business act;

  • Is independently owned, not dominant in its field;

  • Emits less than 50 tons per year of any regulated pollutant;

  • Emits less than 75 tons per year of all regulated pollutants.

 COMPONENTS OF THE PROGRAM: 

  1. Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) 

Services provided by the SBO include: 

  • Represent small business in government organizations;

  • Promote the participation of small businesses in the development of regulations;

  •  Refer small businesses to the appropriate SBAP specialist for technical assistance;

  • Operate a toll free hotline

To contact the small business ombudsman, call 1.800.755.1625 or 701.328.5202.

  1.  Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP) 

The CAP provides advisory opinions on the overall effectiveness of the program. 

The CAP consists of representatives from the general public, small businesses and the Department of Health. 

  1. Technical Assistance Group (SBAP) 

The SBAP provides technical assistance to small businesses.  Some of the services available are: 

  • Help in determining if regulations apply to your business;

  • Aid in preparation of permit applications;

  • Help in understanding rules that may apply to your business and how to meet them;

  • Help in developing pollution prevention programs; and

  • Providing state auditors to help determine compliance.

Questions may be addressed to the North Dakota Department of Health at 701.328.5188, or email Tom Bachman.