The 1990 federal Clean Air Act amendments required each state to form a Compliance Advisory Panel (CAP) to support small businesses in being aware of, understanding, and complying with air regulations. Colorado’s CAP also supports small businesses in respect to other types of environmental regulations, including water, hazardous waste, and solid waste.
The CAP works closely with the CDPHE Small Business Ombudsman and Small Business Assistance Program, and helps to ensure an active exchange of information and feedback between the small business community and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Example of ways the CAP works to support small businesses include:
- Gathering and providing small business feedback on environmental compliance and enforcement trends.
- Engaging small businesses around new/modified regulations.
- Strategizing outreach methods for engaging small businesses, especially those in industries that are often hard to reach.
- Reviewing existing and proposed CDPHE/EPA rules.
- Offering guidance to the Small Business Assistance Program on small business challenges and opportunities.
- Investigating ideas for improved cross-media (air, water, hazardous waste) regulatory support.
- Reviewing CDPHE resources to maximize value to small businesses.
- Ensuring diverse types of business perspectives are provided to CDPHE, such as minority, women, disability, rural, and veteran owned businesses.
- Providing information to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Small Business Ombudsman about the state Compliance Advisory Panels and environmental issues affecting small business.
- Disseminating information between the Small Business Ombudsman and the state Compliance Advisory Panels.
The panel consists of at least seven members – four are small business owners, or representatives of owners, two are members of the public, and one is a CDPHE employee. State statute defines the panel’s mission and is written in general terms to allow flexibility in how the panel interacts with the state’s small business community and other small businesses support programs, such as the Small Business Ombudsman and the Small Business Assistance Program.