FAQs were developed by SBEAP staff based on calls and e-mails directed to our program.  New questions and answers will be added on a regular basis as appropriate based on current issues and questions posed to our SEAP staff.  While each question has been carefully answered, they are not designed to cover every aspect of the regulations that may apply to your situation.
Environmental regulations affect all businesses, large and small.  However, as a small business owner, you face a variety of unique challenges in running your business.  In addition to the day-to-day operations of your company, you also have to worry about regulations that can be difficult to understand and complex to follow.
Fortunately, following environmental rules can make your business more efficient and save you money. Perhaps most importantly, environmental compliance is good for Illinois' environment and future generations.  The Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) is here to assist you as you navigate through the various environmental regulations to help you keep your business in compliance, and to continue to protect our environment.
Please feel free to contact us through the SBEAP helpline at 800-252-3998 (TDD:  800/785-6055) or by email at dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov if you have any questions on the information provided or if your question is not covered by any of the categories listed.
Do Environmental Regulations Impact My Business? 
They may if your business: 
  • Releases air pollutants, such as dust, fumes, gas, mist, odor, smoke, vapor, or a combination of these, to the atmosphere.
  • Coats, glues, or paints materials.
  • Uses fuel burning equipment, such as boilers, generators, or incinerators. 
  • Discharges process wastewater to a public sewer system or to a water body. 
  • Uses hazardous materials, such as chemicals, plastics, rubber, resins, solvents, parts cleaners, paints, motor vehicle fluids, etc. 
  • Generates hazardous wastes, such as spent solvents, fluorescent light bulbs, cleaning chemicals, oily wastes, batteries, or paints. 
  • Handles or disposes of asbestos or asbestos-containing material. 
  • Transports wastes of any type. 
  • Owns a well that will serve drinking water to 25 or more people. 
  • Uses an aboveground or an underground storage tank. 
  • Uses a septic system. 
  • Stores hazardous materials or waste outside where it can come in to contact with storm water.
What services does the SBEAP offer?
The SBEAP offers a range of services to assist small businesses in complying with environmental regulations.  We offer training seminars and workshops , maintain a centralized collection of permit forms and instructions, provide links to the various Illinois state agency environmental regulations, publish a quarterly newsletter with updates on environmental regulations, including information on pending and recently amended rulemakings, compile fact sheets, brochures and guides related to a wide range of small businesses, and link to a directory of environmental consultants.  Additionally, we are available to answer your questions through our help line at 800-252-3998 (TDD:  800/785-6055) or by email at dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov.
What Types of Businesses May be Impacted 
  • Manufacturers - Furniture, Electronics, Wood Products, etc. 
  • Auto Body and Auto Repair 
  • Dry Cleaning Facilities 
  • Metal Fabricators and Finishers 
  • Hot Mix Asphalt, Concrete Batch Plants, and Rock Crushers 
  • Construction 
  • Print Shops 
  • Surface Coating and Painting Operations
  • Food Processors 
  • Clay Ceramics 
  • Gasoline Dispensing Facilities
  • Hospital Sterilizers
  • Wood Preserving Industry
  • Iron and Steel Foundries
What are National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)?
These are USEPA regulations that set the emission standards to control toxic air pollutants.
What is an "Area Source"?
"Area" sources are those sources that emit less than 10 tons annually of a single hazardous air pollutant or less than 25 tons annually of a combination of hazardous air pollutants.  Area sources tend to be smaller facilities, and often include small businesses.
What are Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)?
Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects. USEPA is required to control 188 hazardous air pollutants.  USEPA has developed, and continues to promulgate, standards to regulate the emission of these HAP.  Examples of toxic air pollutants include benzene, which is found in gasoline; perchlorethlyene, which is emitted from some dry cleaning facilities; and methylene chloride, which is used as a solvent and paint stripper by a number of industries.
How do I order a Drycleaner Compliance Calendar?
You can order a free copy of the Drycleaner Compliance calendar by calling the SBEAP hotline at 800-252-3998 or by email at dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov .
The Drycleaner Compliance Calendar is also available for download.
Where can I find a copy of the federal requirements for dry cleaners in 40 CFR 63.322?
These regulations can be found on the USEPA web site
How do I order a Stage I & II Vapor Recovery calendar?
You can order a free copy of the Stage I & II Vapor Recovery calendar by calling the SBEAP hotline at 800-252-3998 or by email at dceo.sbeap@illinois.gov
How do I find an environmental consultant?
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity maintains a list of environmental consultants
What Illinois State regulations impact my business?
There are a number of Illinois state agencies that are involved in environmental regulations. The Pollution Control Board adopts standards dealing with air, water, land and noise that are enforced by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency's Division of Nuclear Safety adopts regulations dealing with radiation (including radon) issues.  The Illinois Department of Public Health is charged with regulating environmental health and safety regulations (including the asbestos abatement standards).  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources regulations address wildlife and natural resources.  The State Fire Marshall regulates above and below ground gasoline storage tanks.  The Department of Agriculture has environmental regulations that include nursery operations, pesticide standards, and livestock waste.
How do I know when the rules are amended?
All proposed amendments to Illinois state agency rules are published in the Illinois Register.  The Illinois Register is a weekly publication of the Secretary of State's Index Department that includes proposed rulemaking, adopted rulemakings, and notices of public information.  Additionally, the SBEAP's Clean Air Clips contains information on rulemakings that may impact your small business.