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Cleaner Air Oregon is a program that regulates emissions of toxic air contaminants from industrial and commercial facilities based on local risks to health. Cleaner Air Oregon requires facilities to report toxic air contaminant emissions, assess potential health risks, and reduce risk if the level of risk posed by the toxic air contaminants exceed health risk action levels. All new facilities must complete a CAO risk assessment before obtaining a DEQ air contaminant discharge permit. Existing facilities will be notified and called in to the program over time by DEQ.
CAO is committed to helping small businesses reduce cost while also complying with the CAO process and reducing risk and pollution. This program exists to accommodate small businesses and help alleviate the cost of consultants. CAO is able to help small businesses with different aspects of the CAO process and provide personalized assistance for specific facilities.
Facilities approved for technical assistance can receive support throughout the whole CAO process. This is flexible based on the needs and capabilities of the facility. Some examples of how DEQ may be able to assist small businesses are filling out the emissions inventory form for them, finding the relevant emission factors, determining what exposure locations are near the facility and categorizing them, and performing a level 1 or 2 risk assessment. DEQ will not run level 3 or 4 risk assessment modeling for a facility but can assist facilities who need a level 3 or 4 risk assessment with the other steps.
Please keep in mind, small business technical assistance with CAO does not include any fee waivers. Small business technical assistance instead aims to reduce the time, effort, and technical expertise required for a facility to perform a risk assessment, and potentially reduces consultant fees. Facilities are still required to meet all fee and document deadlines. CAO may not be able to provide assistance in every instance.
For the purposes of CAO Small Business Technical Assistance, the definition of “small business" can be found in the Oregon Administrative Procedure Act, ORS 183.310 (10)(a). “Small business" means a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other legal entity formed for the purpose of making a profit, which is independently owned and operated from all other businesses, and which has 50 or fewer employees. This was the definition used in assessing the fiscal impact of CAO and considering the impact on small businesses in the original rulemaking.
If you are unsure if your facility would qualify as a small business, please fill out the Registration Form for Small Business Technical Assistance. CAO will consider the factors in the definition and review each small business request on a case-by-case basis.
Any facility interested in receiving small business technical assistance should register using the Registration Form, AQ 503. The Registration Form requires basic information about your facility, including company information and the type of assistance you would like from the CAO team.
For any questions, please contact Cleaner Air Oregon Small Business Coordinator, Marissa Meyer.
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