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Technical Assistance: State Agencies


Technical assistance programs(TAPs) benefit state officials responsible for implementing state regulatory programs. By taking advantage of the services that state technical assistance programs offer, you can enhance the effectiveness of the regulatory activities you perform on a daily basis and see greater compliance in the businesses you regulate. Informing businesses about more efficient production technologies and encouraging the use of P2 techniques can help businesses comply with environmental regulations, which, in turn, helps make your job easier.

Promoting Prevention through SEPs

The Ohio Office of Pollution Prevention (OPP), which works with companies and other Ohio EPA divisions on a voluntary, nonregulatory basis, joined forces with state regulatory staff to help an Ohio paper mill make the most of its resources and identify P2 opportunities in developing a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). OPP assisted the mill in developing a formal P2 program and Planning Guidance Manual and helped the mill optimize its available resources. As a result of this SEP, the paper mill realized a savings of approximately $445,000 in 1996 and exceeded compliance and water quality permit requirements.

TAPs provide the following services:

Providing P2 Materials. Most TAPs have developed extensive libraries of resources including industry case studies, tip sheets, and P2 checklists for specific industries. Refer to these resources for detailed P2 information that you can pass onto industries during onsite visits and inspections.

Helping Reduce Waste Generated by State Agencies. TAPs also can help state regulatory agencies operate more efficiently and reduce waste by using P2 strategies within their own operations. After all, pollution prevention should be a priority for businesses and government alike, and state regulatory agencies can realize the same P2 results as businesses.

Assisting With Regulatory Integration. TAPs can provide you with the technical information needed to integrate P2 into regulatory activities such as enforcement settlements, permitting, compliance inspections, and rules. TAPs can provide checklists to help you incorporate P2 into compliance inspections, and provide resources to help you cover P2 issues. P2 is now showing up in new regulations, and TAPs can help you write P2 into rules. Contact your state TAP to discover how it can help integrate P2 into your individual regulatory program by reviewing regulations to reduce barriers to P2; integrating P2 in air, water, and waste permits; and incorporating P2 into settlement agreements for violations. Also, for more information about regulatory integration, please visit the Source Reduction Review Project [ASCII] summary, which assesses successes and challenges in a pilot that targeted key air, water and solid waste rulemakings for multimedia P2 action.

Reducing the Regulated Universe Through Prevention. By implementing P2 techniques, businesses can sometimes exit the regulatory universe, as the requirements would no longer apply to them given their new level of waste generation. For example, Leff-Marvins Cleaners, Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, eliminated the need for a PADEP permit when it replaced its old dry cleaning equipment with new cold water chilled closed loop systems that recycles perchloroethylene (PERC). This new equipment eliminated most VOC emissions and reduced the purchase of PERC from 200 gallons per month to 40 gallons per month. Leff-Marvins realized a net savings of $1,400 per month and PADEP found it had one less dry cleaner to permit.

Working Together to Help Industry Meet Regulatory Requirements
The Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (OTA), a nonregulatory assistance office, worked with EPA staff to bring together the Commonwealth Attorney General's office, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), and the Commonwealth Division of Occupational Safety to develop a joint set of rules that small shops could be expected to implement. Also involved were several individual shop owners and the Massachusetts autobody trade association. The project incorporated P2 activities into enforcement practices and assisted enforcement agencies in their programs of inspection.

Training Regulatory Staff. TAPs can teach you to incorporate P2 into all aspects of your job. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PADEP's) Office of Pollution Prevention and Compliance Assistance (OPPCA), for example, trained 150 people, including representatives from the Pennsylvania Environmental Assistance Network, pollution prevention roundtables, PADEP staff, and other state agencies, in the techniques needed to implement P2 projects. OPPCA's training highlighted techniques to analyze data, identify processes in place, and understand factors that motivate facilities to implement P2. TAPs also often provide training to teach inspectors how to conduct multimedia inspections for specific industrial sectors or for all facilities. Those inspections lead to better environmental results than single media inspections.

Training to Integrate P2
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) worked with Dade County Environmental Resources Management (DERM) in 1991 to establish an ongoing local government program that trains environmental permitting staff to integrate source reduction into approximately 4,000 facility inspections each year. As a result of this project, DERM continues to provide technical assistance to area businesses, sponsor P2 workshops, and provide a quarterly newsletter and other outreach materials. Additionally, the state conducted a series of local government "train the trainer" P2 sessions and follow-ups throughout the state with the help of a 1995 PPIS grant.

Contact Information

The Where You Live page provides contact information for state technical assistance programs that can help incorporate pollution prevention into day-to-day agency activities.

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