Release No. 96-2                                                                            Contacts: Jerry Martin
                                                                                                                      Daven Oswalt
January 25, 1996                                                                                           Allan Hirsch
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      (916) 322-2990

HELP PROGRAM TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES HAS SUCCESSFUL DEBUT

        A new cooperative program to assist small businesses comply with local air pollution control district regulations has been introduced by the California Air Resources Board, the state's air quality agency, and the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District.

        The Handling Emission Levels Properly (HELP) program was developed to allow small businesses the opportunity to use an air quality engineer to meet air pollution control rules before pollution violations can occur. HELP has already shown that it can be an effective tool for reducing regulatory burdens and increasing business compliance to improve regional risks of costly operation interruptions, damage to their community reputations and undesirable legal procedures.

        "Such an approach will help businesses operate in a more cost-effective manner by avoiding mistakes that can damage air quality and result in costly remedial efforts, said John Dunlap, Air Resources Board chairman.

        "HELP will give small businesses the same understanding of air quality regulations that up to now have only been available to large facilities that employ their own environmental experts," he added.

        Introduced in 1995 in the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, located in Northern California between the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, the program has already received accolades from local businesses. "Business owners who need assistance in complying with air quality regulations now will have additional help available through this new program," said Kenneth Selover, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District's air pollution control officer.

        The program consists of three steps that include a questionnaire and review of operating permits, a meeting between company officials and air quality experts, and an inspection of the facility's equipment to review maintenance and operating procedures.

         To enroll your company in HELP, call the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District at (916) 757-3650, or toll-free (800) 287-3650, and ask for the HELP coordinator. To contact California Air Resources Board HELP officials, call (916) 322-2466.

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