Information Sheet
Small Business Technical Assistance Program

Revised: November 2001      Contact: (207) 287-7881, or 1-800-789-9802

What is the Small Business Technical Assistance Program?

The Small Business Technical Assistance Program (SBTAP) helps small businesses comply with the Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations. The SBTAP uses education, outreach, on site assistance, and pollution prevention techniques to assist business achieve compliance and reduce pollution and waste.

For the purposes of the program, a small business is defined as a business that employs fewer than 100 people company wide. The SBTAP is managed by the DEP's Office of Innovation and Assistance.

What are the functions of the SBTAP?

  • Provide information and assistance with:
    • compliance methods and technologies;
    • pollution prevention and toxic use reduction techniques;
    • permitting issues;
    • accidental chemical release prevention practices;
    • legal rights and obligations under the Clean Air Act.
  • Coordinate the Small Business Compliance Incentives Policy. (The policy grants enforcement relief to small businesses for inadvertent violations that are discovered as a result of the business requesting assistance from the Department.)

What is the structure of the SBTAP?

The SBTAP is comprised of the following three components:

  • SMALL BUSINESS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - The SBTAP staff perform the day to day functions required to help small businesses achieve environmental compliance.
  • SMALL BUSINESS OMBUDSMAN - The Director of the Department's Office of Innovation and Assistance serves as the Small Business Ombudsman. The Ombudsman acts as a representative of the regulated business community in matters regarding the Clean Air Act and oversees all aspects of the SBTAP. The Ombudsman operates independently from the Bureau of Air Quality.
  • COMPLIANCE ADVISORY PANEL - The Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP) consists of 16 representatives from the business community, municipal government, organized labor, public health organizations, environmental organizations, the general public, and the Department of Environmental Protection. With the exception of the Department appointees, all representatives are appointed by either the Governor, the President and Minority Leader of the Senate, or the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House. The purpose of the advisory panel is to review the effectiveness of the SBTAP, oversee the Ombudsman's activities, and provide recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of the program.