Since medical and scientific research has irrefutably proven the devastating health effects of asbestos, Federal agencies have established standards of regulations for the mineral in nearly all facets of public life. In organization of the 1990 Clean Air Act, Congress included specific amendments for small businesses. Section 507 of the Act put small business safety and monitoring under EPA jurisdiction. The program consists of three parts: a Compliance Advisory Panel, a Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, and a Small Business Ombudsman. There is a specific Asbestos and Small Business Ombudsman (ASBO) in the Federal Office of Small Business Programs who helps build the competency of the 507 Program and its staff, and encourages communication between the states.
The ASBO team consists of eight members in Washington D.C. As a faction of the EPA, the Team helps enact all regulations pertaining to asbestos emissions, disposal, and other usages. They also assist in further development of regulations and participate in the annual 507 Program Training, which is held each spring. Asbestos exposure attorneys highlight the importance of the 507 Program and the ASBO Team. Federal and state air and other environmental regulations are complex, and these programs help small businesses stay in compliance with these laws. Citizens who do not abide by asbestos standards are subject to extreme fines and lawsuits, as exposure to asbestos poses a serious risk to public health.
The ASBO Team advocates for small business issues, partners with state Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs), small business trade associations, EPA headquarters and regional offices, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and other federal agencies to reach out to the small business community. These partnerships provide the information and perspective EPA needs to help small businesses achieve their environmental performance goals. This is a comprehensive program that provides networks, resources, tools, and forums for education and advocacy on behalf of small businesses across the country.
Liaison between EPA and the small business community
- Serves as liaison between small businesses and the EPA to facilitate dispute resolution;
- Hosts small business trade association meetings with the EPA Deputy Administrator and senior management;
- Is the Agency’s Point of Contact for the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act (SBPRA) of 2002; and
- Takes the lead on behalf of the Administrator in responding to citizen’s complaints under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
Advocate for small business during the EPA rulemaking process
- Increases EPA personnel’s understanding of small business concerns and impacts in the development and enforcement of environmental rules and regulations;
- Represents small business views during EPA regulatory activities; and
- Tracks the development and implementation of regulations affecting small business in support of the Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by the Small Business
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.
- Provide technical assistance to small businesses
- Answers technical and regulatory questions on a toll free hotline;
- Maintains and distributes EPA publications;
- Develops compliance assistance tools; and
- Gives direct access to technical assistance through the Small Business Environmental Homepage
- Support national network of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs (SBEAPs)
- Acts as the focal point and provides multi-level support and coordination for an extensive national network of SBEAPs;
- Supports annual national conference; and
- Provides support for network through the Small Business Environmental Home Page and associated activities.
To get in get in touch with the ASBO, contact:
Joan B. Rogers EPA Asbestos and Small Business Ombudsman 1200 Pennsylvania
Washington, D.C. 20460 Mail Code: 1230T Phone: 202-564-6568 Mainline: 202-566-2075 Hotline: 1-800-368-5888 and 202-566-1970 (DC area)
Lung cancer lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage any small business owner to research the 507 Program and its requirements. Failure to comply with federal asbestos guidelines will result in heavy fines and possible lawsuits. Asbestos exposure is directly linked to numerous, fatal diseases, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. If you were exposed to asbestos and developed any of these or other related illnesses, contact an experienced asbestos attorney immediately for a free legal consultation.