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Ohio EPA Improves Free Help for Small Businesses
Small businesses in Ohio have access to a new tool from Ohio EPA that can help identify whether environmental permits, licenses or registrations are needed. The Agency’s improved and updated Permit Wizard is now available to help new businesses get started on the right track with proper permits; existing businesses also may use the Permit Wizard anonymously as a way to check on whether they still have the right permits for their operations.
The Permit Wizard guides users through a series of general questions about their operations. Users are not required to share the identity or location of their specific business. Once users finish answering the questions posed by the Permit Wizard, they receive a summary, identifying permits, licenses or registrations that will likely be needed, along with contacts and links to helpful resources.
The Agency emphasizes that the Permit Wizard is just a starting point and one tool to help businesses identify needed permits, licenses and registrations. It is not a substitute for reviewing the regulations and/or getting assistance, where needed, from an experienced permitting consultant.
Ohio EPA’s Permit Wizard is more user-friendly and helpful because it now offers:
- a choice of industry type to focus responses on those permits most applicable to that industry;
- the ability to select specific permit categories (e.g. water discharge, air, waste);
- more detailed information on specific permit requirements;
- a downloadable, customized results summary with helpful web links and local contacts for follow-up;
- the ability to evaluate the applicability of various permit exemptions; and
- the flexibility to back up and change input information.
The Permit Wizard can be accessed at http://ohioepa.custhelp.com/app/opa. Feedback about how the tool is working and areas for future improvements are welcome.
A free webinar will be held at 10 a.m. on October 21, 2015, to demonstrate how to use the Permit Wizard and answer questions. Registration is available online through Ohio EPA’s Webinar Event Calendar.
In addition to the Permit Wizard, Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) offers free and confidential assistance to Ohio businesses to help them comply with Ohio’s environmental requirements. OCAPP is a non-regulatory program that also identifies pollution prevention measures that can help save money and benefit the environment. For more information on OCAPP’s services, call (800) 329-7518.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.