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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

San Francisco Bay Area Green Business Program

The Problem

Small business owners are very busy with the day-to-day demands of running a business, yet many are expected to comply with a multitude of environmental regulations through a patchwork regulatory system comprised of many different agencies and levels of government.

The Solution

The San Francisco Bay Area Green Business Program was established by state and local governments and EPA to test a new model which consolidates environmental compliance and provides resource conservation and pollution prevention information to various small businesses through a recognition program. The program makes it easier for small businesses to comply with environmental regulations, as well as address other environmental concerns through:

  • creating a better working relationship with the regulators;
  • identifying a single source for all environmental compliance information;
  • providing a consolidated set of easy to understand, industry specific environmental compliance requirements;
  • providing information on useful resource conservation and pollution prevention practices, and;
  • providing recognition for environmental responsibility.

The Green Business Program recognizes participants for both their environmental compliance and their commitment to pollution prevention and resource conservation.

The Results

Initiated in 1996, the Green Business Program was initially offered to the automotive repair industry. Of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay area, five are actively participating in the program. In Sonoma county, for example, over half of the automotive repair shops have been certified as being in compliance with all environmental regulations for air, water, and hazardous waste management. In addition, some counties have expanded the program beyond the automotive repair industry and now include other small business sectors (such as printers, wineries, etc.) as well.

Contacts

Additional information is available at: http://www.abag.ca.gov/bayarea/enviro/gbus
Exiting EPA (disclaimer)and contacting Ceil Scandone of the Association of Bay Area Governments at (510) 464-7961, ceils@abag.ca.gov or Mark Samolis of EPA at (415) 947-4273, samolis.mark@epa.gov.

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