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Small Business Air Quality Assistance Program

Even small business owners that operate equipment, use paints or solvents or cleaners, generate dust, or otherwise release air contaminants during business operations (e.g. dry cleaners, auto body shops, photo finishing labs, printing shops, etc.) may be subject to air quality laws and regulations.

The Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) was established to help small businesses understand and comply with air quality regulations.

This program is free and confidential for those that qualify as a small business.

To qualify for assistance from the SBAP program, you must be considered a "small business" as defined in the Small Business Act:

  • Have 100 employees or less
  • Be independently owned and operated
  • Emit less than 50 tons per year of any regulated pollutant
  • Emit less than 75 tons per year of all regulated pollutants

If you are not sure if your business requires a permit or if you have any questions, please Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP).

The District's Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) includes a Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) and Small Business Technical Assistant (SBTA).

Services provided by the Small Business Ombudsman (SBO) include:

  • Confidential assistance with individual source problems
  • Promotion of participation in the development of regulations
  • Referral to appropriate specialists for technical assistance
  • Help resolving disputes between small businesses and the Air Quality Division

The Small Business Technical Assistant (SBTA) provides small businesses with basic answers to questions about regulations.

Some of the issues or questions include but are not limited to the following:

  • Determine which regulations apply to the small business
  • Review and prepare of permit applications, if needed
  • Understand rules that may apply to the business and how to comply
  • Develop pollution prevention plans
  • Provide confidential telephone assistance at (202) 535-2997
  • Inform businesses about upcoming workshops on new regulations

The program is free and confidential.


Service Contact: 
Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP)
Contact Phone: 
(202) 535-2997
Contact TTY: