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Contacting the EPA

The effect your company might have on the environment can't slip beneath your notice. A challenge small businesses face is understanding and complying with environmental regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a federal agency dedicated to protecting our environment. The EPA offers resources to help small businesses with regulatory compliance. In this article, we'll explore why small business owners should consider contacting the EPA and how to do it effectively.

Regulatory Compliance Assistance

The EPA established the Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs) nationwide. These programs provide technical assistance, guidance, and resources to help small businesses achieve compliance with environmental laws. Small business owners can turn to SBEAPs for:

  • Expert advice
  • Access to valuable materials
  • Answers for frequently asked questions

Small Entity Assistance

The EPA has a special division called the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). OSDBU helps small entities with their interactions with the federal government. The OSDBU is there to help small business owners with tasks like getting government contracts and advocating for their needs.

Rulemaking and Advocacy

The EPA regularly develops and revises environmental regulations. Small business owners can play an active role in this process. When you join EPA rulemaking, you can speak up, suggest improvements, and improve regulations for small businesses. Your input can help shape these rules to benefit the small business community.

Pollution Prevention and Small Business Solutions

The EPA offers guidance on pollution prevention to help small businesses reduce their environmental impact and save money. Small business solutions and technical assistance are readily available to help you adopt cleaner, more sustainable practices and reduce your environmental footprint.

Emergency Response and Superfund Assessments

Small business owners can rely on the EPA's expertise and resources in an environmental emergency. The EPA coordinates emergency responses, such as hazardous waste spills or other environmental incidents. They can also provide information on the Superfund program, which handles the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. In case of emergencies, contact the appropriate regional office for immediate assistance.

Drinking Water Designations

Understanding and complying with water quality regulations is crucial for businesses that depend on clean and safe drinking water. The EPA can guide drinking water designations, ensuring your business complies with federal standards.

Outreach and Small Business Resources

The EPA conducts outreach efforts to connect with small business owners. They collaborate with trade associations and small business communities to provide information on environmental regulations, compliance best practices, and available resources. Small business owners must stay informed and engaged with these outreach initiatives.

The EPA Hotline

Small business owners can contact the EPA's toll-free hotline for immediate help. The hotline is also known as the Small Business Ombudsman Hotline. This hotline is a resource for small business owners seeking guidance on environmental compliance, regulatory concerns, and general assistance. EPA experts operate the hotline. They can respond to your inquiries and help you navigate compliance.

Washington, D.C. Headquarters

Telephone: (202) 272-0167

Telephone for speech and hearing impaired: (202) 272-0165

EPA Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Telephone: (617) 918-1111

Toll-free within Region 1: (888) 372-7341

EPA Region 2: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

New York, NY 10007-1866

Telephone: (212) 637-3000

EPA Region 3: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

Telephone: (215) 814-5000

Toll Free: (800) 438-2474

EPA Region 4: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

Telephone: (404) 562-9900

Toll Free: (800) 241-1754

EPA Region 5: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin

Telephone: (312) 353-2000

Toll-free within Region 5: (800) 621-8431

EPA Region 6: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas

Telephone: (214) 665-2200

Toll-free within Region 6: (800) 887-6063

EPA Region 7: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska

Telephone: (913) 551-7003

Toll-free: (800) 223-0425

EPA Region 8: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Telephone: (303) 312-6312

Toll-free: (800) 227-8917

Email: r8eisc@epa.gov

EPA Region 9: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada

Telephone: (415) 947-8000

Toll-free within Region 9: (866) EPA-WEST

Email: r9.info@epa.gov

EPA Region 10: Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

Telephone: (206) 553-1200

Toll-free: (800) 424-4372

Getting Legal Help

Generally, contacting the EPA doesn't require the assistance of an attorney. However, if you need help ensuring your business complies with state and federal environmental laws, contact an experienced environmental law attorney.

If you want more information and resources related to this topic, visit FindLaw's Environmental Laws section.

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