Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP)

“ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE – A PRIORITY”

The Mississippi Small Business Stationary Source Technical and Mississippi Environmental Compliance Assistance Program sustains and strengthens MDEQ’s relationship with elected officials, industry, small businesses, government agencies and civic and community groups. The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) provides training and support to small businesses to assist them in complying with environmental regulations. These programs provide information of interest to small business owners, small business assistance providers, and the public on EPA’s programs and resources available to small businesses.

The program consists of three components working together to help small businesses:

  • A SBEAP Technical Assistance Coordinator that provides help to small businesses.
  • A Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) to advocate on behalf of small businesses within the regulatory environment.
  • A Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP) of small businesses owners and small business representatives ensure the program meets the needs of Mississippi’s small businesses.
About the SBEAP

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 in Section 507 requires each state establish a Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) to assist small businesses with environmental compliance and emissions reduction.

The program provides small business owners with free, confidential, non-regulatory technical assistance regarding environmental regulations and environmental compliance.

What makes me a small business under the SBEAP?

A Small Business:

  • Employs 100 or fewer employees
  • Meets the federal Small Business Act (SBA) definition of a small business
  • Cannot be a major stationary source of air pollution
    • Source emits less than 50 tons per year of any regulated pollutant
    • Emits less than 75 tons per year of all regulated pollutants
  • Cannot be a large quantity generator of hazardous waste
How to request the assistance of the SBEAP

The owner or operator of a small business may submit a request for assistance directly using one of the following methods:

Type of Assistance Provided:
  • Pre-permitting assistance
  • Onsite compliance assessment
  • Monitoring resources and tools
  • Workshops/Meetings
  • Publications/Fact Sheets
The SBEAP has provided assistance to municipalities and the following businesses/industries:
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Childcare/Schools
  • Construction
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Furniture
  • Metal Finishing
  • Painting & Coating
  • Salvage/Recyclers
Call 1-833-256-4820 to see if SBEAP can assist you.
To contact staff, click here.
Asbestos Awareness Week: April 1-7, 2021

Asbestos Awareness Week

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that occurs in soil and rock.  This fibrous material is an airborne hazard and can create a health risk if inhaled.  The degree of health risk is dependent upon the amount inhaled, and there is no known safe level of exposure.   Exposure to asbestos can cause cancer and other health issues.

Where can asbestos be found?

A small business owner should be aware of products in which and places asbestos can be found.  If you are preparing to remodel or demolish a building as an owner or building contractor or if you are in the business of recycling or handling construction debris, you need to be aware of items that may be made with asbestos.  A few items below give insight into where asbestos can be found:

  • Attic insulation
  • Automobile clutches and brakes
  • Boiler insulation
  • Building materials (siding, wall board or spackling compounds, and ceiling/floor tiles)
  • Cooling towers
  • Electrical wiring insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Hot water and steam pipe insulation
  • HVAC duct insulation

Are there banned uses of asbestos? 

In April 2019, EPA issued a final rule that strengthens the Agency’s ability to rigorously review an expansive list of asbestos products that are no longer on the market before they could be sold again in the United States. This action gives EPA the authority to prohibit the use of these products or put in place restrictions to protect public health.

EPA also banned new uses of asbestos which prevent new asbestos products from entering the marketplace after August 25, 1989 which remain banned. Thanks to the April 2019 rule, there is no way for them to return to the marketplace.

The manufacture, importation, processing, and distribution of the following asbestos-containing products are banned under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

  • Paper (Includes Corrugated, Commercial, and Specialty)
  • Rollboard
  • Flooring felt
  • New commercial uses that begin after August 25, 1989

For more information, review the 1989 rule Asbestos: Manufacture, Importation, Processing, and Distribution in Commerce Prohibitions.

Bans on asbestos-containing uses covered in the Clean Air Act (CAA) include the following:

  • Asbestos pipe insulation and asbestos block insulation on facility components, such as boilers and hot water tanks, if the materials are either pre-formed (molded) and friable or wet-applied and friable after drying.
  • Spray-applied surfacing asbestos-containing materials such as the application of those containing more than 1% asbestos to buildings, structures, pipes, and conduits unless certain conditions specified under 40 CFR 61, Subpart M are met.

How can asbestos be safely removed and transported for disposal?

At a minimum, the following steps or precautions should be taken to safely remove and transport asbestos for disposal:

  • Wet it to prevent asbestos fibers from blowing around. Note: Wetting asbestos waste does not constitute treatment.
  • Place in a sealed, leak-tight, non-returnable container(s) so the fibers cannot escape. Plastic bags (at least 6-mil thickness), cans, or drums are acceptable.
  • For bulk waste that will not fit in a smaller container without requiring additional breaking, wrap it in packaging that is leak-tight and seal it with packaging/duct tape.
  • When placing the sealed/wrapped waste in a trailer or roll-off bin, the container must be lined with plastic sheeting and covered with a tarp.

In Mississippi, asbestos can be disposed of in an approved National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) landfill.

Why is an Operations and Maintenance Program Needed?

Guidance has been provided by EPA to help building managers/owners understand how to develop and maintain an O & M program for the management of asbestos-containing materials in their buildings. An Operations and Maintenance (O&M) program is a formulated plan of training, cleaning, work practices, and surveillance to keep asbestos-containing materials (ACM) in good condition in buildings. The goal of the program is to minimize exposure of all building occupants to asbestos fibers. The information maintained in the program can be useful to owners, managers, workers, and other staff of buildings (hospitals, office buildings, shopping centers, apartment buildings, etc.) that may contain asbestos materials and can be managed in place and control and abatement procedures are not required that are outside the scope of an O & M program.

NOTE: School buildings have separate and distinct regulatory requirements for the management of asbestos under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).

Want to be an Asbestos Professional?

Asbestos contractors must be certified and trained in the proper removal, handling, packaging, and disposal of asbestos. EPA issued the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (AHERA) which requires asbestos professionals be trained as outlined in the  EPA Asbestos Model Accreditation Plan (MAP).  MDEQ provides opportunities for certification and licensure for the following asbestos professions:

  • Management Planner
  • Contractor
  • Project Designer
  • Supervisor
  • Inspector
  • Worker
  • Air Monitor

Want to be certified or need to be recertified to perform asbestos abatement activities? For training information, applications, and fees, visit https://www.mdeq.ms.gov/air/asbestos/accreditation-and-certification/