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List of State Officials - Martin O'Malley, Governor; Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor; Shari T. Wilson, Acting MDE Secretary 

Volume II, Number 11

 March 2007

eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. 

Fear Not! Small Business Owners, We are Here to Help

By Stanley Tsai, Office of Special Programs

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Photo of Gary Kelman and Stan Tsai 

Photo of Stanley Tsai 

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If you have been in business for a number of years, you may have hesitated before contacting the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) for an answer to your permitting or compliance question. You could have had a simple question, but were apprehensive to ask for advice from MDE. You may have been worried about what impact your call to MDE would have on your business. Would it provoke a visit by an MDE inspector at your front door followed by a site complaint, a notice of violation and/or a compliance order that you had not heard of before? 

Fear Not! MDE wants you to understand the process. While we are a regulatory agency, we realize that small businesses may not have the resources to dig up necessary information, so we are here to help with your awareness of environmental responsibilities. Our Small Business Assistance Program is set up to guide you through the environmental maze and the process it takes to reach and to go beyond environmental compliance. It is the Department’s goal to make sure that all businesses, large or small, new or existing, understand the environmental regulations they may need to comply with before it is too late.

MDE’s Small Business Assistance Program is here to answer questions like:

  • What environmental permits do I need prior to starting a business, if any?
  • How do I apply for these permits?
  • Where do I find the forms?
  • How long will it take to get a permit?
  • Once I get the permit, what do I have to do?
  • Who do I speak with to discuss my permit?
  • What do I do if I don’t agree with my permit’s conditions or limits?
  • Where can I find the environmental regulations?
  • Is there any guidance on environmental permits?
  • Where can I find an environmental consultant?
  • Where can I find an environmental laboratory to do the testing needed to fill out my permit application?
  • How do I set up a meeting (multi-media meeting) with all of the MDE permitting groups appropriate to my situation?

Gateway to MDE: http://mde.maryland.gov

MDE’s website is loaded with environmental news for leisure readers as well as potential permittees. It contains a wealth of information ranging from all types of environmental permits, approvals, certifications and registrations to the Department issues, public health advisories and outreach activities. The website is updated regularly and provides readers with a sense of how MDE strives to make our air, water and land cleaner. The permit guide provides detailed information on fees, the permit application process, term of permit and standard turnaround time for all types of permits issued by the Department.

Ways to Get Help!

Call Stanley Tsai of the Small Business Assistance Program at 410-537-4478 to arrange a one-on-one meeting, if necessary, with the permitting and customer service staff, or arrange a multimedia meeting to gain a department-wide view of what permits you may need.

It is more cost effective to have the regulated community understand the rules. Enforcement is much more expensive and time-consuming than assisting small businesses in understanding their environmental obligations so they can avoid violations. We are available to discuss your situation at no cost to your business. Contact Stanley Tsai of the Small Business Assistance Program at 410-537-4478 or Stanley.Tsai@maryland.gov.


©2007 Copyright MDE

Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230