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Our primary offices are located at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.


Duquesne University

Small Business Development Center

108 Rockwell Hall

600 Forbes Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15282-0103


Phone: (412) 396-6233

Fax: (412) 396-5884


Monday through Friday 8:30AM to 4:30 PM


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F.A.Q.: Environmental Questions

What is EMAP?

      The Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) provides current and prospective small business owners with no-cost, confidential environmental regulatory information and compliance assistance to help them understand environmental issues that may affect their small business.



What type of information can I learn through meeting with an EMAP consultant?

      The EMAP consultant will provide you with information and help you look for ways to meet compliance requirements related to Environmental issues and Worker health and safety issues. They will also work with you to help you understand how you can comply with environmental regulations, reduce costs, prevent pollution, minimize waste, and, improve energy efficiency.



How do I Report Chemical Spills, Emergencies, and Accidents?

      Reporting environmental emergencies only takes a few minutes. You are required to contact:


1. Local emergency personnel by calling 911 immediately, if appropriate.

2. The National Response Center (NRC) at 1-800-424-8802 or report on-line. The NRC, which is staffed 24 hours a day by U.S. Coast Guard personnel, has federal jurisdiction of all chemical and oil spills. If an extremely hazardous substance is spilled or released, you must also contact the state emergency response commission (SERC) or the local emergency planning committee (LEPC). To identify the appropriate SERC or LERC, call the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Hotline at 1-800-535-0202. The NRC may also make this call for you. Approximately 360 substances are considered "extremely hazardous", as listed in 40 CFR Part 355.

3. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Emergency Response Program (ERP) by calling the statewide number at 1-800-541-2050 or the ERP Manager in your region. DEP prefers that the regional ERP Manager be notified if possible. Spilled materials are generally cleaned up with absorbent materials and the absorbent materials are then disposed as hazardous waste. It is illegal to flush spilled materials into a storm sewer, roadside ditch, or other Commonwealth waters. While certain spilled materials can be neutralized (e.g., acids), because they may still contain other contaminants, DEP must be consulted prior to flushing any neutralized spilled materials.



Not sure if you should contact DEP?

      You are required to notify DEP if:

1. The pollutant, no matter what quantity, is discharged to surface or groundwater.


2. The quantity of spilled material is in excess of established RQs. DEP indicates that a conservative assumption is to contact them if the spill of hazardous material is above 5 gallons.


3. The pollutant is released from an underground or aboveground storage tank.

      DEP also encourages voluntary reporting in the following situations:

1. The spill of hazardous material or petroleum is in excess of 5 gallons.


2. The air pollution release may be toxic or the smoke may cause a public nuisance.


3. The incident involved illegal or improper disposal of any material.



What is residual waste?

      Residual waste is industrial waste that is not, by definition, legally hazardous under state or federal law. Residual waste is not the same as municipal waste. Municipal waste is waste generated in homes, offices, and commercial and institutional establishments such as stores and hospitals.

      Some examples of residual waste include, but are not limited to, contaminated soils, leather, rubber, glass, electronics, storage tanks, filters, and oil. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has additional information about residual on their website. If your business generates enough residual waste, you may be required to submit a Biennial report and keep records.



How do I know if I have hazardous waste?

      Most hazardous wastes are generated by industries, including car repair shops; construction, printing industries; manufacturers of chemicals, cleaning agents, cosmetics, and metals. Industries are regulated according to the amount of hazardous waste they generate.

  • Large Quantity Generators are facilities that generate 2200 pounds or more of hazardous waste in a month;
  • Small Quantity Generators are facilities that generate less than 2200 pounds but more than 220 pounds of waste per month;
  • Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators are facilities that generate less than 220 pounds of waste per month.

      The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has established strict regulations for the management, handling and disposal of hazardous waste.



What is waste oil and how do I handle it?

      Waste oil typically includes gasoline and diesel engine crankcase oils and piston-engine oils for automobiles, trucks, boats, airplanes, locomotives, and heavy equipment. It also includes transmission fluid, refrigeration oil, compressor oils, laminating oils and other industrial hydraulic fluids.

      Generators are businesses that handle used oil through commercial or industrial operations or from the maintenance of vehicles and equipment. If your business generates or handles used oil, there are certain good housekeeping practices that you must follow. These required practices, called “management standards”, were developed by EPA for businesses that handle used oil. The management standards are common sense, good business practices designed to ensure the safe handling of used oil, to maximize recycling, and to minimize disposal. The standards apply to all used oil handlers, regardless of the amount of the oil they handle.

  • Label all containers and tanks as Waste Oil
  • Keep containers and tanks in good condition.
  • Never store oil in anything other than tanks and storage containers.

      The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s website can provide additional information about waste oil. Once oil has been used, it can be collected, recycled and used over and over again.