Small businesses in Ohio can now access an updated online tool to help identify if they need environmental permits, licenses or registrations. The Agency’s improved and updated Permit Wizard can 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 in a Turbo Tax® like format. “To dispel fear of using a tool on Ohio EPA’s web site, it was very important that users could remain anonymous,” said Rick Carleski, OCAPP manager and technical advisor on Permit Wizard development. “So users do not have to provide the name or location of their business,” he said. 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.
Ohio EPA emphasizes that the Permit Wizard is simply a starting point, and just 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 user-friendly and 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. We welcome feedback on how it is working and areas for future improvements are welcome. 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 about OCAPP’s services, please call (800) 329-7518.