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What small business and consumers need to know.

1. Where may I dispose of my household wastes, solvents, paints, and paint cans?

Check with your local authorities (town, county, state) for directions on how to dispose correctly of household wastes, solvents, paints, and paint cans.

2. What am I required to do when the property owners next door/ex-employers/competitors have discarded objectionable waste on their property and it has led to groundwater and air contamination? What if I have reports of alleged illegal or offensive releases or dumping and local authorities have ignored these situations?

Check with your local authorities (state, region). States are typically the agencies authorized to operate programs for clean air, groundwater, and solid waste. Regional EPA offices will have information about current Superfund investigations and potential new ones. Contact these regional offices with reports of alleged illegal or offensive releases or dumping in cases where local authorities have not responded.

3. I have concerns about local dumping and air pollution incidents caused by companies and/or individuals. What should I do?

First, contact your local authorities (town, county, state). If you are not satisfied, then check with your regional EPA office. For web site/contact information on EPA's regional offices, see:

4. How do I dispose of ammonia properly?

Check with your local authorities (town, county, state).

5. How do I dispose of paint stripper properly?

Check with your local authorities (town, county, state).

6. How do I dispose of biodegradable diapers and beverage cans/bottles properly?

Check with your local authorities (town, county, state). You may also need to check your city's waste management program.

7. What is the best concrete form release compound/shot for blasting concrete I can use?

Check with your local building authority to see what they can identify. Check to see if any there are conditions included in the building permit.

8. What do I need to do to test the air and make sure that I am in compliance with local air regulations?

Check with your state and Clean Air Act Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) offices. You can locate a Key Contact Listing for Ombudsman and SBAP offices at: For links to State Environmental Agencies and Small Business Assistance Programs: EPA SBO can also provide you with a list of contacts and telephone numbers.

9. How do I transport hazardous and nonhazardous wastes properly?

The generator must prepare EPA Form 8700-22, Uniform Waste Manifest. The transporter must also comply with DOT Hazardous Materials Transportation Regulations. The DOT Hazardous Materials Hotline can be reached at: 800-467-4922.

10. I am starting up a small business (e.g., pharmacy, recycler, chemical compounder, auto body shop, gas station). Where can I find general environmental guidance/ requirements/liability information? What do I need to do for existing properties? What do I need to consider when purchasing an abandoned site for the new business?

To find out about general environmental guidance/requirements/liability information, first check with your local licensing bureau, and then your state. When considering the purchase of an abandoned site for new business, check with the state. They can provide you with previous use information, such as whether the site had been formerly used as a gasoline station, or similar activities. Make a final check with your EPA region to see if there is any record of contamination for the abandoned site on file.

11. Are there Grants for buying additional equipment for pollution prevention, or meeting EPA rules and regulations?

There are no grant programs for normal business operations. However, if you are involved with developing a new pollution prevention system, it is possible that you may be able to apply for funding for demonstration of that system. There are a number of possible routes.

One is to apply through the Assistance Application Kit, which can be obtained from EPA SBO, or directly from EPA's Grant Operations Branch. To obtain the kit directly from EPA's Grant Operations Branch, call or write:

Grant Operations Branch (MC 3903R)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street SW
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-5305, (202) 564-5359

For larger firms, Project XL may provide certain opportunities. This program, created by President Clinton in 1995 with his Reinventing Environmental Regulation initiative, is designed to provide regulated sources with the flexibility to develop alternative strategies to replace or modify certain regulatory requirements as long as they produce greater environmental benefits. Eight projects have been selected to be in the first group of XL pilots. EPA is interested in selecting 50 projects to be part of the XL pilot. Information on EPA's Project XL is posted on the web at: (Enviro$en$e).

Finally, EPA provides grants through state agencies for funding of small community projects, such as wastewater treatment programs and other public service programs.

12. Will EPA support the development of my new process that affords improved environmental control (e.g., soil decontamination, lower air emissions)?

See information about the Assistance Application Kit from EPA's Grant Operations Branch, above in Question 11.

13. Are there tax credits for expenses incurred in meeting EPA requirements?

There is currently no EPA program for such tax credits. Check with the IRS for further information.

14. Where can I get information on loans, grants, financial and paperwork assistance, and startup advice for starting a new business?

EPA SBO can provide you with a listing of SBA district offices. You can also access this information on the U.S. Small Business Administration web site at:

15. Can I receive funding for completed or planned cleanups, conceived research projects, or starting an environmentally oriented business?

If the property becomes a Superfund site, the federal government may be able to go back to the original owners for cleanup funding. See information about funding opportunities under EPA's SBIR program in Question 11. Check with your state for other programs. Also, please note that when purchasing property, you should ensure that as part of the purchase agreement, the previous owner indicates that the property is free of impediments from contaminants and pollution.

16. Where can I get a copy of the Small Quantity Waste Generator Handbook?

You can obtain a copy of the Small Quantity Waste Generator Handbook directly from EPA SBO, including an Addendum with updates and specific state contacts for waste programs.

17. Can someone help me fill out and submit various EPA forms and documents (e.g., Form 8700-12--Notification of Regulated Waste Activity, Material Safety Data Sheets)?

A copy of Form 8700-12 and Instructions are Found In the EPA document, Understanding the Hazardous Waste Rules--A Handbook for Small Businesses. EPA SBO can provide this document.

A Material Safety Data Sheet is prepared by the manufacturer of the product and is provided to the buyer. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the responsible federal agency.

18. Where can I find the publication that I need, or information about an organization that can help me?

EPA SBO can help you find the publication you need, or information about organizations. Also, see Question 19.

19. How can I get a copy of an EPA or other publication that I am interested in?

First, look at EPA SBO's list of publications, which can be obtained by calling EPA SBO, or can be accessed from EPA SBO's home page at: Second, the National Center for Environmental Publications and Information (NCEPI), a central repository for all EPA documents in paper and/or electronic format available for free, can be accessed at:, or call 800-490-9198. Other sources of EPA technical and public information can be found at:

Finally, you can search a database for federal, state, and other publications and fact sheets on the Small Business Environmental Home Page. The database can be accessed at:

20. How can I be added to the EPA SBO mailing list?

Simply call EPA SBO or send your name, address, and phone number to EPA SBO by letter, fax, or email.

21. Where can I find telephone numbers for other hotlines, EPA employees, and other government agencies (headquarters, regions, states)?

This type of information can be found in EPA SBO's Update Newsletters, downloadable from the EPA SBO Home Page Also, hotline information can be found at: Web site and contact information for state environmental agencies, state small business assistance programs, EPA headquarters and regions, and trade associations can be found on the Small Business Environmental Home Page

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